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Moulton Library 

Bangor Theologtoal Seminary J 



Presented by 



The Rev, Robert Howard 





School 

oi-oDomiZof 

Theology 
Library 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 

THE STORY OF C.E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 



By IRENE H. BARNES 
v 

AUTHOR OF ' BEHIND THE GREAT WALL," ETC. 



WITH PREFACE BY REV. T. A. GURNEY, M.A. 

ILLUSTRATED BY J. D. MACKENZIE AND 
PERCY R. CRAFT 



New York : 46 East 14TH Street 

THOMAS Y. CROWELL & COMPANY 

Boston: 100 Purchase Street 




PREFACE 

/ "T" r HIS little book comes to us at the right time. India 
-*- has filled a large space in England's thoughts this 
year. Her sufferings through plague and famine have called 
forth our sympathies ; her representatives in the Great Jubilee 
procession have appealed to our imagination, and her frontier 
troubles have aroused our sense of patriotism and quickened 
the resolve to keep this jewel of England's crown safe and 
intact at any cost. This book will serve as a complete and 
satisfying answer, from the Christian point of view, to the 
question so often asked, Why do we retain India ? However 
strongly our presence there may be urged on the score of the 
Pax Brittannica and all its untold blessings, and our British 
administration of the country, with its western integrity and 
western methods, yet to the Christian mind these replies will 
be unsatisfying. The only really adequate final cause for the 
retention of India lies in our determination to win her to the feet 
of Christ, as one of the brightest jewels in His crown. This 
book is a living witness to the contribution made by England's 
educated daughters towards the solution of the great Indian 
problem, and we believe that, strange as it may seem, the last 



iv PREFACE 

solution of it lies with them. We have many books already 
upon the political, social, and economic problems which India 
presents. Such books view the land from without, and from 
the standpoint of the Anglo-Indian administrator. This book 
views India from within, and gives us a real picture of the 
character and habits of the people themselves. It gives 
glimpses of the inner life of Indian women which, for pictu- 
resqueness of detail, vividness of description, and dramatic 
power, would be hard to surpass. And, throughout, the style 
is so easy and conversational that the mind never feels 
wearied. It may, therefore, be cordially commended not only 
to missionary circles, where it will be invaluable, but also to 
general readers who desire to know something of Indian life 
and folk-lore. To such the "Glance at the Land," with 
which the book opens, will be a stimulus to peer "behind 
the Pardah " — the screen or veil which hides the lady of the 
Zenana from the outer world — and to explore the sad life- 
secrets within it, which are told with such power and pathos 
by Miss Barnes. Too little, far too little, is even yet known 
by Englishwomen of their many-millioned Indian sisters. I 
believe this little book will be a long step towards the great 
aim which Christian lovers of the Indian people set ever before 
them here at home — of interesting every Englishwoman in 
Zenana missionary work. The glimpses of that work which it 
gives must arouse the desire to know more, for they are so 
naive and human. Now it is the crowded Dispensary, with 
its throng of sad but eager faces ; now the Women's Industrial 



PREFACE v 

Class, a first solution towards the great problem of the future 
of the widows of India; now the Girls' Mission School, or 
the work of training the Native Bible Women ; now the 
itineration through the endless villages in rough Tonga or 
Bandy or Gari ; or, again, we pass from the encampment 
beneath the ancient village trees to the crowded heathen Mela 
or festival, or find ourselves behind the Pardah of Moslem or 
Hindu Zenanas, or among the free haunts of the wild hill 
tribes. But always there is the same picture of open doors of 
opportunity on every hand ; of hearts burdened, often con- 
sciously, with the sense of sin and misery ; of sufferings or 
sorrows alleviated by personal contact, and fears and preju- 
dices removed ; whilst, crowning all these, we have the per- 
sonal narratives of hearts yielded fully to the Lord Jesus 
Christ. Such stories, from the lips or pens of the lady mis- 
sionaries themselves, are among the most beautiful features 
of the work. 

The veil or pardah has been lifted in this book, and it 
reveals behind all the noble efforts of English administrators 
in India a work which is nobler still — the mission of the 
daughters of a ruling race in using the national hold we pos- 
sess as an opportunity to bring the new cruse of the Gospel 
to bear, by the power of personal contact and personal sym- 
pathy, upon India's woes, and thus silently but surely, by a 
grace given from above, to transform from within, to conquer 
at its centre, the secret of all India's future — its degraded 
home life — uplifting it to new ideals and bright and holy 



vi PREFACE 

realities. Such a result is adequate as a return for our im- 
perial responsibilities and burdens in the possession of India. 
The story of the manifold activity of Christian womanhood in 
this great field is told here with simplicity and power, in the 
one desire that the return may be God's increased glory j and 
it deserves and will receive I am sure, like its predecessor, a 

cordial and widespread welcome. 

T. A. GURNEY. 
Swanage Rectory, 

October^ 1897. 




THE Authoress is indebted for information not only to 
those Missionaries and others who have ably assisted 
in the production of Behind the Pardah by MSS., photo- 
graphs, and revision, but also to the following well-known 
works on India : Dr. Hunter's Brief History of the Indian 
Peoples and The Indian Empire ; Dr. Thoburn's India and 
Malaysia ; W. J. Wilkin's Daily life and Work in India ; 
and Modern Hinduism, etc., etc. 

All the illustrations and decorative designs, including 
initials of the chapters, in Behind the Pardah, have 
been drawn from Indian photographs, curios and fabrics, 
and are the valuable work and generous gift of tho Artists 
whose names appear on the title-page. The offering is " unto 
the Lord," and to further the work of the Society by increas- 
ing the interest of this story of C.E.Z.M.S. labours. If this 
simple record of what God has wrought through some of His 
handmaidens attract others to devote themselves and their 
substance to their suffering Indian sisters, whose only panacea 
will be the Gospel of Christ, the prayerful desire of Artists and 
Authoress will be abundantly fulfilled. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Introductory i 

A Glance at the Land 12 

Behind the Pardah 40 

Indian Girlhood 55 

First Experiences 70 

Villages and their Visitors— I Si 

Villages and their Visitors — II 101 

Indian Women their own Evangelists . . . .118 

India's Girls for Christ! 134 

Work for Widows and Widows at Work . . . .159 

Our Suffering Sisters—I 176 

Our Suffering Sisters— II 193 

The Daughters of Islam 211 

Appendix : Our Stations and Staff 233 

Index and C.E.Z.M.S. Information 261 



AIDS TO PRONUNCIATION 



a without an accent, has the sound of u in fun, or o in come. Hence, 
pardah should be pronounced " purdah," Amritsar, " Umritsur," 
chaddar, " chud-dar, " pandit, "pundit," Sati t "Suttee." 

a with an accent, has the sound of a in/zr or ah ! 

i without an accent, has the sound of short e, as * in police. Hence, 
Bibi should be pronounced " be-be," Lachmi, " Lutch-mee." 

i with an accent, has the sound of long e, as i in pier. Hence, ghi 
should be pronounced "ghee," fakir, "fakeer." 

u without an accent has the sound of oo\ thus, pujh is pronounced 
" poojah," and sudra, " soodra." 

e has the sound of e in grey. Hence, meld should be pronounced 
"mey-lar," Behar, "bey-har." 

o has the sound of o in bone. 

ax has the sound of^ in lyre. Hence, date should be pronounced "dye." 



GLOSSARY 



N.B.— The Code of Spelling adopted in " Behind the Pardah," is that known as 
the " Hunterian System," after Sir William Wilson Hunter, and used by the Indian 
Government. 



Allah. 
Bazar. 

Chaddar. 
Charpaie. 
Chupatti. 
Chuprassi. 

Dale. 

DuH. 

Ekka. 

Fakir. 

Galli. 

Gari. 

Ghat. 

Hai! Hai ! 

Kurta. 

Mantra. 

Mela. 

Paachayat. 



Pandit. 

Pardah. 

Pardah nishin. 

Pice. 

Pilau. 

Pipal. 

Puja. 

Ramazan. 

Salam. 

Tamasha. 

Tauba ! 



Name for God, generally used by Muhammadans. 

Street in which there are shops. 

Veil worn by women. 

A bedstead, literally, a four-legged thing. 

The unleavened bread commonly eaten by natives of India. 

A messenger ; from the name chupras, which is the badge 

of service worn by messengers. 
A name used for a midwife and for a foster-mother. 
A sort of sedan chair. 
A native conveyance on two wheels. 
A beggar. 

A narrow lane in a city. 
A carriage. 

A place by a river for burning or bathing. 
Expression of grief. 

A part of the dress, answering to jacket. 
A short prayer like a collect. 
Fair, or any large gathering. 
A gathering in a family or caste to settle any question. 

Five being a quorum, the name panchayat is used, as 

panch means five. 
Learned man. 
Seclusion of women. 

A lady kept in pardah or behind a curtain. 
Small copper coin. 
Cooked rice with meat or sweets. 
A large spreading tree — sacred. 
Worship (Hindu). 
The long fast of the Muhammadans. 
Salutation — meaning peace. 
A sight. 
"Repentance ! " — a pious (?) exclamation of the Moslems. 



Introductory 



Ye have tasted the Living Water, 

And your feverish thirst is gone. 
Ye are dwelling by the Fountain : 

Will ye quaff those draughts alone ? 
Go and lift the sparkling chalice 

To the lips of grief and sin, 
Open channels in the desert, 

Let the tide of blessing in ! " 




"I 



— C. Pennefather. 

N the beginning, 
GOD." This is 
the Divine starting-point 
of every enterprise. 
Visibly and clearly it is 
so with every scheme 
which has for its aim the 
extension of the Redeem- 
er's kingdom. Over the 
portals of each Mission- 
ary organisation its found- 
ers have ever rejoiced to 
inscribe, " In the begin- 
ning, God." For "of 
Him and through Him 
and to Him are all things, 
to Whom be glory ! " 
It is always fascinating to trace the growth of a plant from 
its seedling stage. An acorn in our hand as we stand beneath 

i B 



2 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

an oak reminds us of the truth, " Small and unlikely means 
shall avail, when God intends an effect." 

The story of the well-known, well-loved 
Church of England ZenAna Missionary Society 
in its infancy has an interest peculiarly its own. In the world 
of Nature some fruit contains a double kernel. Two distinct 
germs of life lie hidden in one shell. Sooner or later two 
separate organisms appear ; each has its own perfect form, 
growth, position, and possibilities. Issuing from one source, 
nurtured by the same soil and sunshine, two perfect plants are 
seen flourishing, full of vigour. The seed in the redundancy 
of its life has bestowed a twofold gift upon the sower. The 
blessing is doubled. 

Thus it has been sometimes in the kingdom of grace. It 
is to the same source — an earnest desire on the part of con- 
secrated women to carry out the Saviour's last command by 
telling heathen women of Christ's redeeming love — that two 
noble organisations owe their existence to-day. The one 
original Indian Female Normal School and Instruction Society 
which came into being in the year 1852, has become, like 
Jacob's household, two bands, and now, in 1897, the Church 
of England Zenana Missionary Society and the Zenana Bible 
and Medical Mission, alike in aim, and both receiving tokens 
of Divine approval, stand side by side. Two distinct organi- 
sations, denominational and inter-denominational, each works 
on the principles to which it conscientiously adheres ; each 
exercises its own special influence ; each wishes and prays for 
the other's prosperity, thankful to know it is enjoyed, and 
helping to promote it as opportunity may permit. The 
division which some feared would be a source of weakness to 
the work, God has over-ruled to increase its expansion and 
strength. More, doubtless, is being accomplished for the 
eternal well-being of India's needy women than could have 
been wrought had not the "seed" produced a "double 



INTRODUCTORY 3 

kernel." In the sending forth annually by two Societies of two 
prayerfully chosen bands of godly women to minister in 
Christ's name to their suffering sisters, India's daughters are 
twice blessed. 

In November, 182 1, Miss Cooke of the British and Foreign 
School Society arrived in Calcutta for the purpose of establish- 
ing Girls' Schools, twenty-two of which were at work as early 
as 1823. In March, 1824, a Ladies' Society for Native Female 
Education in Calcutta and its vicinity was formed to control 
the affairs of these schools, and was greatly aided both in 
agents and in grants by the Society for Promoting Female 
Education in the East, which had been formed in England in 
1834, and which has been and is doing most excellent work 
for the evangelisation of women, not only in India, but also in 
China, Egypt, and the Straits Settlements. In 1826 the foun- 
dation-stone of the Central School was laid in Comwallis 
Square, 20,000 rupees (about ,£2,000) having been given by 
the Raja Boidonath Roy towards its erection. Two years 
later, Miss Cooke, who was now Mrs. Wilson, with her hus- 
band, a C.M.S. Missionary, took possession of it, and began 
with fifty girls. 

The need of a separate school as a training institution was 
soon felt, and, in 1852, owing to the unwearied exertions of 
Mrs. J. J. Mackenzie, the Calcutta Normal School — the cradle 
of the C.E.Z.M.S.— was established. 

Its first superintendent was Miss Suter, now widow of the 
late Rev. S. Hasell, C.M.S. Missionary, who for many years has 
been a devoted C.E.Z. worker and a member of committee. 
Though now in failing health, Mrs. Hasell has written ex- 
pressly for our pages personal reminiscences of the earliest days 
of our work in India, which will be read with interest. 

TT was in the pleasant summer of 185 1, endeared to many 
of us by happy recollections of hours spent in that wonder- 



4 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

ful creation, the first Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, that four 
sisters were sitting, working and chatting in a garden in the 
suburbs of London, enjoying that free and happy intercourse 
which true sisters know so well. While thus engaged, their 
dear mother came down the garden with two letters in her 
hand. One was from India, addressed to the Hon. Mr. (after- 
wards Lord) Kinnaird, written by Mr. Macleod Wylie, a judge 
in Calcutta, and a true friend of every good work for the evan- 
gelising of India. Some earnest Christian ladies, who by 
their exertions had raised a large sum of money to found a 
Normal Training School, had asked Mr. Wylie to write to 
England for a lady to become the first Principal of the new 
Institution. The other letter which the mother held was from 
a personal friend — Mrs. Clark — deeply interested in the work 
of missions, saying that Mr. Wylie's letter had been sent round 
to most of the Clergy Daughters' Schools and others, in 
England, and had met with no response ; and then Mrs. Clark 
added, " Ought not some of your dear daughters to respond 
to this appeal ? " 

The question, we believe, found an echo in the hearts of 
all the sisters, but especially in that of the eldest daughter, 
who had long desired to devote herself to missionary work. 
She had had much experience in education, and though deeply 
feeling her own unworthiness, she was made willing to offer 
herself for the work, and, after due consideration by those 
competent to judge, she was accepted. 

But the dear father, when he heard of the proposal, said 
that he could not allow one of his five daughters to go alone ; 
but, if one of the others were willing to accompany her sister 
and help in the work, he would willingly give two of them to 
the blessed cause. His fourth daughter offered herself, and 
was accepted by the committee in Calcutta. How much this 
cost him may be judged by his remark when he returned from 
taking their passages on the P. & O. steamer, " that it was 



INTRODUCTORY 5 

almost like signing his own death warrant." The precious 
three months before they sailed were spent by the two sisters 
in qualifying themselves for their important task. 

On Monday, November 4th, the day of departure, they 
started very early for Southampton, accompanied by father and 
eldest brother, and spent the rest of the day on board the 
Indies looking over the vessel and cabin which they were to 
share with Mrs. Weitbrecht and her baby (now the Rev. Dr. 
Weitbrecht), and after a touching commendatory prayer and 
blessing from their beloved father, he and their brother went 
on shore and the Indus steamed out of the harbour. 

The voyage, a safe and pleasant one, was full of interest to 
the new travellers. The railway to Suez was not yet made, 
and the journey across the desert was memorable, performed 
in vans, each with four horses, which were changed every two 
hours. The jolting was tremendous, and sleep impossible ! 

From the day of arrival in Calcutta on December 18th until 
March 1st, 1852, when the Calcutta Normal School was 
opened, the large and suitable house which the committee had 
secured and rented of the Mysore princes at Tallygange, four 
miles from Calcutta, was being prepared and furnished. It 
was then solemnly dedicated to the service of God, by its 
friends and supporters. The building was quite in the 
country, with a large compound surrounded by a wall in- 
closing a garden, where the pupils could have plenty of air and 
exercise and flower-beds of their own to tend. Inside, the 
marble hall and rooms made cool and spacious schoolrooms 
and dormitories. 

Eight pupils were received on the opening day and others 
soon followed. But the school had many vicissitudes to 
undergo before it became firmly established as a training in- 
stitution for teachers of the native women and children, both 
in schools and Zenanas. Cloud and sunshine largely inter- 
mingled in its early history. Criticism came alike from friends 



6 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

and foes. But through it all, the workers were enabled to hold 
on their way. 

The number of pupils, both European and Eurasian, in- 
creased rapidly, and were divided into two classes. But 
whilst the elder ones formed an intelligent and interesting set 
of girls whom it was a pleasure to teach, the younger ones 
were indeed "raw material," calling into exercise all the pa- 
tience and tact of their young teacher, and often disappoint- 
ing her efforts to train them. 

Among the many encouragements of these early days must 
be mentioned the kind, fatherly interest manifested in the 
work and workers by the then Bishop of Calcutta, the Rev. 
Daniel Wilson. He would often drive down to Tallygange in 
the evening, and after a little cheering intercourse with the 
wearied teachers, would give a helpful address to the pupils, 
with each of whom, afterwards, he would shake hands. He 
seldom came empty-handed, generally bringing some valuable 
book as a present to the Superintendent or to the school library. 

In October, 1854, a resolution was passed by the committee 
that it was better to retain in the Institution only those who in- 
tended to become teachers. This reduced the number from 
twenty-nine to ten, and set the workers free to carry out the 
original design of the Normal School. A Practising School 01 
Bengali village children was formed, and much assistance in this 
effort was given by the S.P.G. missionaries at work in the neigh- 
bourhood. Mr. and Mrs. James Stuart had, meanwhile, be- 
come secretary and treasurer of the Normal School, and 
rendered the most valuable help in carrying on the work. 
Their brother, the Rev. E. C. Stuart, C.M.S., afterwards 
Bishop of Waiapu, kindly became chaplain to the Institution. 

In 1854 two of the elder pupils qualified as teachers, to the 
great joy of those who had trained them, and at once went to 
the assistance of missionaries. The Zenanas of Calcutta were 
just then opening, and one of the two, who had proved a valu- 



INTRODUCTORY 7 

able worker, found entrance among them, labouring zealously 
and faithfully. 

But perhaps the most remarkable fruit of the Normal School 
was seen in the conversion and life-work of Louisa Gomez. 
Her history is too remarkable to be passed over in silence, for 
of her it was said by a C.M.S. missionary, that if the Normal 
School had trained only Miss Gomez it would not have been 
established in vain. 

Louisa Gomez was born in Calcutta of Indo-Portuguese 
parents, strict Roman Catholics. Nevertheless she was 
allowed to attend a school founded by the Rev. R. Boswell, 
chaplain of St. James', Calcutta, and superintended by the 
devoted Miss Stark, the results of whose prayerful labours will 
be fully known only in eternity. Under her patient teaching, 
Louisa, who at first objected to coming to church, and whose 
temper was such that she could not bear the slightest rebuke, 
gradually became changed. The Spirit of God was secretly 
at work in her heart. After, however, years of mental conflict 
" in utter darkness and despair," she wrote to Miss Stark that 
she had " vowed a vow unto the Lord " that if He would 
take from her entirely her unbelieving heart, she would first 
of all give herself to Him, and would, " if it pleased Him to 
make her a new, sharp, threshing instrument in His hands, 
engage in bringing others to Him." This prayer was answered 
and the vow fulfilled. But first, Louisa spent three years dili- 
gently studying in the Normal School. She was nineteen 
when she entered the Institution and backward in her educa- 
tion ; but her patience and perseverance, her thirst for know- 
ledge and the deep interest she took in the daily Bible lessons, 
and above all her consistent, humble, Christian character, 
example and influence greatly commended her to the Superin- 
tendent. At length she passed an examination, and became 
a certificated teacher in English and Bengali in the Bengali 
Christian Girls' School then attached to the Calcutta Normal 



8 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

School. Here she qualified for the higher task of Zenana 
teaching, the great extension of this work leading her to devote 
her whole time to it. 

Much blessing attended her efforts. Her gentleness and 
loving tact won their way to the hearts of the native women 
whom she taught. For fifteen years she continued to work 
"in labours more abundant," with that happy faculty, which 
characterises a good worker, of finding new paths for her* 
untiring energy. In writing to her former beloved teacher 
at the Normal School, she said, "Every Saturday I have a 
Bible Class for Christian women in the village. . . . There 
is so much to be done in spreading the Gospel of our blessed 
Saviour, that, had I ten thousand lives, I would gladly devote 
them ail to His service." God gave her the desire of her 
heart in seeing so many brought to Him that I believe we 
may truly say, that no other Zenana missionary has ever been 
more successful in winning souls for Christ. Passing over 
the many years of sowing and reaping, the opening of ioo 
Zendnas in Calcutta and the establishment of permanent 
mission work by Miss Gomez at Barrackpore, we can but 
record the sorrowful fact that in 1872, reluctantly undertaking 
a journey up country for the absolute rest and change 
medically prescribed, it is believed that she was drowned in 
a river, a branch of the Ganges, which she was crossing on her 
way to Roy Bareilly. Mrs. Sandys, her kind and sympathis- 
ing friend and adviser for many years, writes of her : 

" The thought of dear Miss Gomez through my life will 
continue to be that of the most earnest and devoted mission- 
ary I have ever seen. . . . Literally, her meat and drink 
were to do the work of God. She often came to us to stay 
for a few hours when quite exhausted, and at such times her 
best restorative seemed to be if I could tell her of any more 
openings to make Christ known, and immediately fatigue 
was forgotten in her eagerness to be up and doing." 



INTRODUCTORY 9 

In 1856 the Normal School was removed from Tallygange 
to the Circular Road, Calcutta j and ultimately to the Central 
School, Cornwallis Square; and in 1857 its first Superintend- 
ent resigned the charge of the Institution to other and devoted 
hands. Of those who succeeded her, following pages tell. 1 
The writer thinks she cannot more suitably close this account 
than by quoting from the present Principal's last Report. Miss 
Hunt says : " Miss Kent joined us last year, and with nine 
assistants — two of them, Miss Bose and Mrs. Dass, giving 
their services freely — four Bible-women, two Zenana teachers, 
and twenty school teachers, we carry on the Normal School 
and Bengali work. In the waking up of India's Christian 
daughters to the joy of service, we see the dawn of a glorious 
day for this bright land ; and I should like to say how much 
the success and happiness of the work has depended on the 
band of faithful, earnest workers whom God has given us, five 
of whom were trained in our own dear old Normal School, 
and all of whom I count amongst my dear friends, made for 
eternity." 

In 1SS0 the C.E.Z.M.S. was formed, having for its nucleus 
the entire charge of the Normal School, Calcutta, and that 
also of seventeen other stations, with a staff of thirty-one ladies, 
besides assistant missionaries and Bible-women. 2 As an 
entirely independent missionary organisation, working on its 
own constitution and basis, yet in co-operation with the 
Church Missionary Society, its primary object is to make 
known the Gospel of Christ to the women of India, in accord: 
ance with the Protestant and Evangelical teaching of the 
Articles and Formularies of the Church of England, by means 

1 For a description of the Normal School and its work in 1897, see 
chap. viii. India's Girls for Christ ! 

2 Three-fourths of the English lady missionaries and their stations were 
thus accepted from the I.F.N.S. 



io BEHIND THE PARDAH 

of Normal Schools, Zenana Visitation, Medical Missions, 
Hindu and Muhammadan Female Schools, Bible-women, and 
other agencies. 

It has been from the first a great desire of this Society that 
its work should be its one advertisement. Little is said of it 
in the newspapers. Quiet, unobtrusive, simple, and, to a 
large extent, what may be called underground labour, has 
characterised our mission from the first. The motto of 
C.E.Z. workers has been this : " Not as pleasing men, but 
God, Which trieth our hearts." Their conviction is that 
women's work for the Lord Jesus Christ should exhibit in a 
very special manner " the sweet, womanly graces of quietness, 
patience, carefulness, undistractedness and simplicity." 

Our missionaries work, as far as practicable, at the same 
stations as those of the C.M.S. j and, as female converts are 
given to the labours of the Zenana ladies, they are instructed 
in the doctrines of the Church of England and become 
members of the Native Church which is being gathered 
together in connection with it. A chronological record of 
their work is reserved for the Appendix. 

The spirit and tenor of the farewell injunctions given 
annually to our band of outgoing C.E.Z.M.S. missionaries is, 
thank God, so indicative of the principles and aspirations 
of the whole Society, that we venture to quote some recent 
utterances as the most fitting Introduction that can be given to 
a brief story of its labours : — 

" The Committee's final word of exhortation to you in these 
1 perilous times,' so full of heresy and error, is, ' Stand ye in 
the ways and see, and ask for Ihe old paths, where is the 
good way and walk therein.' False Christs and false prophets 
have, as our Master foretold, arisen in the last days. Sacer- 
dotalism, Universalism, Perfectionism, Theosophism, are only 
samples of systems numberless, whereby unstable souls are led 
astray at home and abroad, in India and in England. 



INTRODUCTORY 1 1 

" This Society is based, as you all know, on the old lines of 
Church of England Protestant and Evangelical Truth. It is 
Protestant, as Paul's Epistles are Protestant, solemnly witness- 
ing against error in general, and the errors of the great 
apostasy in particular. It is, therefore, in the truest sense, 
Catholic too, abating not one jot of the truth as it is in Jesus, 
and firmly maintaining that the first qualification for work in 
the vineyard is personal experience of the Gospel of Christ, 
as 'the power of God unto salvation to every one that 
believeth.' To these essential principles may God, in the 
future as in the past, keep all our workers loyal and devoted 
and true ! 

"Yet even here we would again remind you that mere 
orthodoxy cannot save souls. More is needed in a missionary 
of the Cross of Christ even than a 'past experience' of the 
power of a Saviour's love. A daily, hourly life by faith in 
the Son of God; a close, constant, and eternal union and 
communion with the Lord Jesus Christ ; a living in the Spirit, 
a walking in the light, and (in respect of this glorious mis- 
sionary work which we have in hand) a grasping of God's 
purposes, a pleading of God's promises, a laying hold of the 
exceeding greatness of God's power, a close and searching 
study of God's Word; a looking, watching, and waiting for 
Christ's glorious appearing — all this the Committee have in 
view when they bid you stand in the old paths, and fight 
on the old lines on which the noble band of martyrs, mission- 
aries, and apostles have stood and fought before you*" 



CHAPTER I 

A Glance at the Land 

" Of every six infants in the world, one is born in India ; 01 every 
six orphan girls, one is wandering in India ; of every six widows, one 
is mourning in India ; of every six men who die, one is passing into 
eternity from India. Think of it, and give India a place in your 
prayers." 

" Will you ' consider the field ? Consider its condition, its millions 
of perishing souls, its immense opportunities and facilities for Chris- 
tian women's effort, its promise, its wealth for the Saviour's glory ! 
And then, when you have considered, will you ' buy the field '?" 

NDIA, vast, million-peopled Em- 
pire, brightest jewel in the British 
crown ; few indeed are they who 
cannot be interested in that wide 
realm, laved by two oceans, girt 
with a coral strand ! To de- 
scribe its countries, its peoples, 
its customs, would be to fill 
volumes with facts full of sur- 
prise, interest, and pathos, out- 
rivalling in weird and wonderful 
detail the strangest romance ever written. The eyes of states- 
men, travellers, and merchants are turning towards this won- 
derland of the East with increasing eagerness day by day. In 
Hegel's phrase, "India is the Land of Desire to the world." 

Let us give a glance at that mighty, distant peninsula, 
linked, in God's special providence, with our own tiny island 
as one Empire under one beneficent Royal Rule. 

12 




A GLANCE AT THE LAND 13 

India, with its two hundred and eighty-eight millions 
of inhabitants, may be said to be the home of one-sixth of 
the human race. A great three-cornered country, it stretches 
southward in mid-ocean, covering one and a half millions of 
square miles. Its area is almost equal to, and its population 
is actually larger than, all Europe, less Russia. Its length and 
its greatest breadth are both about 1,900 miles, but it tapers 
with a pear-shaped curve to a point at Cape Comorin, its 
southern extremity. Within this compact dominion, India 
boasts a variety of climate, from the hot region near the 
equator to far within the temperate zone The capital, Cal- 
cutta, lies in 88 degrees of E. longitude; so that when the 
sun sets at 6 o'clock there, it is just past mid-day in England. 

The mountains and the ocean, Nature's glorious bulwarks, 
guard India's boundaries north, east, and west. But on its 
N.E. and N.W. frontiers two opposite sets of gateways connect 
it with the rest of Asia. From the wild hill regions between 
Burma and the Chinese Empire on the one side, and from 
the Muhammadan states of Afghanistan and Baluchistan on 
the other, two streams of widely different peoples have poured 
into the one great land. 

"This noble Empire," says Dr. Hunter, "is rich in varieties 
ot scenery, from the highest mountains in the world to vast 
river-deltas, raised only a few inches above the level of the 
sea. It teems with the products of nature, from the fierce 
beasts and tangled jungles of the tropics, to the stunted 
barley-crop which the hill man rears, and the small furred 
animal which he traps within sight of the eternal snow." 

For a thousand miles parallel with the blue Himalayas runs 
the noble waterway of Northern India. No wonder that the 
people reverence the bountiful rivers Indus, Brahmaputra, and 
Ganges, which fertilise their arid fields ! Their sources in the 
mountains are held sacred. Allahabad, on the tongue of land 
where the two sister streams, Ganges and Jumna, unite, is 



i 4 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

yearly visited by thousands of pilgrims, and a great religious 
gathering takes place each January on Sagar Island, where 
formerly the united rivers poured into the sea. To bathe in 
" Mother Ganga," as she is lovingly called, it is believed will 
purify from sin, and the devout Hindu dies in the hope 
that his ashes will be borne by her waters to the ocean. 

Throughout the river-plain of Bengal, two, and in some 
provinces three, harvests are reaped each year. A network of 
streams forces its way slowly across the vast flat delta, drop- 
ping the burden of silt, brought down from Northern India by 
the parent river, unable any longer to carry it swiftly. High 
level canals are thus produced, which in the rainy season over- 
flow their banks and leave the alluvial soil upon the low 
country on either side. Sufficient fertilising mud to fill enough 
fifty-ton freight cars to stretch two and a half times round 
the world is thus brought down free of cost by river currents 
from the distant Himalayas ! A constant succession of rich 
crops is reared upon the plains below in consequence. Wheat 
and various grains, pease, pulses, seed-oils and green crops of 
many sorts are reaped in spring ; the early rice crops in 
September; the great rice harvest of the year 1 and other 
grains in November or December. Before these last have 
been gathered in, it is time to prepare the ground again for 
the spring crops, and the Indian husbandman knows no rest 
except during the hot weeks of May, when he is anxiously 
waiting for the rains. 

The year may be divided into three seasons — cold, hot, and 
rainy. The cold season in North India begins about the first 
of October; in Calcutta and Bombay in November. Rain 
seldom falls during this season. From October to March the 
sky is cloudless. The weather becomes warm before the 

1 It was the failure of this principal crop, owing to the long-continued 
drought of 1896, which brought about the awful famine raging in the North, 
North-west and Central Provinces of India, 1897. 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 15 

middle of March, and a hot wind is blowing in April. Not a 
blade of grass is to be seen by the time that May, the most 
trying month, sets in. In June the heat is intense. That 
month the monsoon bursts, and until that relief comes, intense 
anxiety prevails all over India to hear of rain. Within three 
or four days after the rain has come, the whole landscape is 
clothed in richest green. Birds seem endued with new life. 
Multitudes of frogs, from no one knows where, leap in every 
pond and puddle. For the next three or four months India is 
a beautiful country. Yet it is less healthy, and when the rains 
abate early in September the most sickly season sets in. 
The air, still and steamy, is filled with malaria produced by 
the decaying vegetation. 

Enriched with God's own royal bounty, the fertile plains, 
dotted with mud-built villages, are adorned with noble trees. 
Mango groves scent the air with their blossom in spring, and 
yield their abundant fruit in summer. The spreading banian 
with its colonnades of hanging roots, the stately pipal with its 
dense foliage, the leafless wild cotton-tree laden with its heavy 
red flowers, the tall feathery tamarind and the quick-growing 
babul rear their heads above the crop-fields ; while, as the 
rivers near the coast, palms begin to take possession of the 
scene. 

South India, perhaps, lies rather low in the estimation of 
those who dwell amid these northern beauties. Some think 
of it only as a vast, hot, dreary, sandy plain, rising here and 
there into equally uninteresting hills or mountain heights. 
But those who know it well claim for it, when the rains have 
come, a loveliness all its own. With its many rivers in flood, 
and the refreshing green of the paddy fields stretching for 
many a mile, bordered and interspersed with groups of grace- 
ful date-palms or drooping banians, the plains of Southern 
India are sufficiently beautiful to gladden the eye of any 
artist, 



16 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

There are very few large towns in India. Many of the so- 
called towns are mere groups of villages, in the midst of which 
cattle are driven in the field, and ploughing and reaping go on. 
Whether, therefore, the territory is a province under British 
rule or a state under a native chief, India is almost entirely a 
rural country. 

Notwithstanding this fact, British India is thickly over- 
crowded. Each square mile has to feed, on an average, 229 
persons ; and many millions of the dense husbandman popula- 
tion are struggling to live on the produce of half an acre apiece. 
In such districts, if the rain fall short by a few inches, the 
people suffer great distress ; if drought occur, thousands die of 
famine. In other parts, vast tracts of fertile land wait to be 
cultivated. The Indian, like most Orientals, is conservative 
to the highest degree. He clings to his fields and parcels 
them out among his children, even when his family has grown 
too numerous to live upon the crops. 

Glancing next at the people themselves, we must keep in 
mind that in such a vast country, where life is many-sided, 
the inhabitants, so varied in countenance, stature, manners, 
customs, ways of living, food, dress, industries and religious 
ceremonies, we can but look at features common to the 
majority, and remember that even these are not wholly the 
same everywhere. To attempt a minute description is impos- 
sible. Every section of life in India has its own characteristics, 
and as great a diversity exists between the customs of one set 
of people and another, as the gradations of colour which are 
to be found, from the ebony complexion of the negro to the 
wheaten colour of the Kashmiri woman. 

No fewer than 106 languages (including dialects) are 

spoken ; the chief of which are Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, 

Marathf, Punjabi, Tamil, Gujrati, Kanarese, Uriya, Burmese, 

Sindhi, Kashmiri and Malayalam. 1 Hindustani or Urdu, i.e. 

1 The entire Bible has been translated into all these languages. 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 17 

camp language, is a dialect of Hindi, comprising a large ad- 
mixture of Persian words. It has become the lingua fra?ua 
of India, and is " the official tongue under English rule except 
so far as English itself is used." 

India has a civilisation at least as ancient as the time of 
Solomon. In some respects its people do not seem to have 
changed for the last 3,000 years. 

In the towns, the purely native shops are open and work 
begins early in the morning. At 1 1 o'clock they are closed, 
and the work-people go away for their bath and morning 
meal. About 2 o'clock they re-open and remain so until 10 
or n p.m. Walking along at mid-day you notice that each 
shop is carefully locked with two or three or even four large 
padlocks. In a little time a respectably-dressed Bengali 
comes to the shop, but he has the key of one lock only. He 
must wait until his partners' arrival, and when all are present 
the locks are removed and the door opened. This mutual 
distrust is very common among the natives. 

The smallest copper coin in circulation is the 'pie' one- 
twelfth of a ■ pice ' the value of which is rather less than \d. 
This is worth eighty 'kauris,' and with these shells a good 
deal of business is transacted. How would English trades- 
people like to have to do with shells of which about fifty go to 
the farthing ? 

When the people meet each other, or when a European 
meets with them, except they have become familiar with 
our customs, there is no handshaking as a sign of friendliness. 
When they meet as equals, each touches his forehead with the 
palm of his right hand ; but if an inferior meet a superior, he 
stoops down as though he would touch the foot of the other, 
and then slowly raises his hand to his head. They mean by 
this exactly what we mean when we shake hands. 

One has to be very careful in asking questions about the 
family. If we have heard that a gentleman's wife is ill, it 

c 



i8 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

would be a great breach of etiquette to ask after her by name. 
Although we know that he has no children, we have to say, 
" How is your family ? " This he at once understands, and 
will tell you that she is better or worse as the case may be. 
In terminating a visit to a Bengali, a strange form of etiquette 
must be observed. The visitor must not rise to go till his host 
politely tells him it is time for him to take his departure ! 
Yet the Bengali exhibits true Western politeness in other ways. 
Respect is universally shown to the European who is stammer- 
ing in the language and probably making a blunder in every 
sentence. Not a smile crosses his face, even though a table- 
servant may be told by the foreigner to pour himself instead 
of ivater into a tumbler ! The water will be given and not the 
faintest shade of amusement be exhibited. 

Few people perhaps are more cleanly than the Bengalis. 
As a rule, the Hindu peasant of Bengal bathes every day of 
the year. His ablutions over, he dons clean garments, 
washes the clothes he has worn during the last twenty-four 
hours, and leaves the suit of yesterday to dry and bleach in 
the sun ready for the morrow. If there is a river within a 
reasonable distance, the people prefer to bathe in it, because 
a bath in a river not only cleanses their bodies but, it is 
believed, washes away their sins. If there is no river, they 
bathe in a tank; or, if this cannot be had, they pour water 
over their bodies. They do not use soap, but in the cold 
season, immediately before their bath, anoint the body with 
cocoa-nut oil. 

The homes of the poor are usually about twelve feet square 
and of one story only. They are built upon a raised floor of 
earth, with walls of matting, wattles, or mud. The roof, which 
in the Punjab is an expanse of flat mud, in South India 
is of reeds, grass, or palm leaves fastened to bambus, or 
perhaps jungle-wood rafters. Windows are either conspicuous 
by their absence, or else they are very small and never 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 19 

glazed. The only light comes in at the low narrow door. 
The Indian house of even the better class is cheerless enough 
to outward appearance — a four-walled prison — though occa- 
sionally, in some parts of the country, the exterior of the front 
is decorated with stripes of red and white, about a foot wide. 
But within, it always contains a courtyard open to the sky. 
The projecting roof forms the verandah upon which all the 
small dark rooms open, and which constitutes the family 
dwelling-place. They sleep in the little rooms in the coldest 
weather, and in the court in the warmest, or upon the flat 
roof, around which the outer wall extends high enough to form 
a screen. The dwelling-houses ot respectable people are 
usually in narrow lanes, where the outstretched hands may 
almost touch opposite houses. 

The courtyard generally contains a well or tank, and 
sometimes a tree, and in wealthy establishments it may 
expand even into a small garden, where the sacred tulsi-plant 
(an object of worship) is carefully tended. But more often 
broken crockery, household rubbish, and an evil-smelling 
drain are the chief items of interest visible. In large houses 
there is often an inner court for the women and the household 
work. But the average Indian dwelling contains a little 
ante-room, sometimes used for a stable, sometimes as a 
passage only, with a small apartment adjoining it where the 
men sit and receive their friends. Within, on one side of the 
court, are the kitchen and the store-room, and on the other 
two sides, the sitting-room and bedrooms. Inside the rooms 
there is practically no furniture beyond 'chdrpaies,' i.e., light 
bedsteads, the bedding of which is generally rolled up by day ; 
boxes which contain the family clothing, a ' pan ' or spice 
box, a few pictures of many-headed, many-armed gods and 
goddesses, a low desk, if the master of the house have literary 
tastes, and a few mats and perhaps cushions. In Muhamma- 
dan houses there is a wooden platform about a foot high, on 



2o BEHIND THE PARDAH 

which a cotton mat is spread, and here the inmates recline 
much of their time. In fine houses a mat covers the floor, 
a white cloth is spread on this and bolsters or cushions are 
placed here and there to support head, back, or elbows as the 
sitter may wish. 

The floor of the villager's house is of hardened earth which 
is cleansed and levelled from time to time with a solution of 
mud, cow-dung and water, spread by hand. A low fire-place, 
without pipe or chimney, pots of all sizes containing the 
household stores, a pestle and stone mortar, a hand mill, and 
a granite slab for grinding spices constitute the kitchen effects. 
A heap of rice may be in one corner, and suspended by 
string from the rafters are vessels holding clarified butter, 
sugar, and other things likely to excite the appetite of rats and 
ants. A lamp, some matting, possibly a rough charpaie, a 
pole suspended from the ceiling by two ropes to serve as 
wardrobe, and some spinning wheels complete the household 
goods. The interior of these one- or two-roomed houses is 
filled with confined air and smoke, and redolent with 
the odour of cow-dung and stale curry materials ! 

In a Hindu kitchen, however, the cooking vessels and brass 
plates are kept scrupulously clean, and scoured until they 
shine like mirrors, although in a Muhammadan household the 
reverse of cleanliness obtains. The Hindus are mostly 
vegetarians. In Bengal, for instance, they live on rice and 
vegetables stewed with hot spice, known to English people as 
curry. The frequent use of condiments is called for by the 
nature of their food. They have to eat an immense quantity 
of rice in order to obtain sufficient nutriment. As rice forms 
their staple food every day in the year, hot spices are indulged 
in to stimulate appetite and assist digestion. Their content- 
ment with this simple, changeless diet is astonishing. 

The Indian home has no family table or family meal. The 
food is prepared, and a portion set before the master and male 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 



21 



relatives of the household, who sit around it on the floor ; then, 
when they have eaten, the women take their plates to the hearth 
or (if Moslems) to the charpaie, which is a seat by day and a 
bed by night, and begin their meal. In eating their food, though 
the right hand takes the place of knife, fork, and spoon, the 
people are very clean and careful. Before commencing a meal 
the hands are washed ; and they consider our plan of using 
spoons, although cleansed, extremely objectionable ! To a 
Hindu the saliva is impure, and everything it touches is defiled. 




HERE THE INMATES RECLINE. 



A plate therefore, or spoon that has once touched the lips, could 
not be used again. The very ground where food has been par- 
taken of has to be purified after each meal by having a handful 
of water or a little liquid cow-dung sprinkled over it. 

The Hindu gentleman at meal-time lays aside his turban 
and jacket, and sits down cross-legged upon a mat on the floor 
before his plantain-leaf plate. The rice is heaped on a large 
brass tray, the curry is in smaller brass bowls, and water in 
brass vessels. At a feast the curry and rice may be supple- 



22 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

mented by a boiled grain called 'dal,' 'ghi,' ue. t clarified 
butter, and a little chutney. The meal usually proceeds in 
perfect silence, and not until the close does any one drink 
water. In drinking no one allows their drinking vessel to 
touch their lips. Throwing their heads back, opening their 
mouths wide, and raising their hands aloft, they pour the water 
in a stream down their throats. 

The fast is broken in the early morning with fruit or milk, 
1 chhote harzari' or " little breakfast," as it is called ; the break- 
fast, or first substantial meal, is taken at early noon, and dinner 
in the evening. Such is the wont of the well-to-do people. 
But with the poor, of course it is far otherwise. Multitudes 
have only one cooked meal a day, and make the other of a 
handful of parched grain. 

After a meal it is most common for the people to chew 
'pan.' This is a leaf, something like spinach, specially 
grown for the purpose, in which betel-nut, cardamom seeds, 
cocoa-nut, lime, cinnamon, catechu, and other spices are 
mixed, the appetising morsel being neatly folded over and 
pinned with a clove. The whole must be taken into the mouth 
at once ! The bulkiness of this dainty bit, and the redness it 
imparts to lips and teeth while being chewed, in no way adds 
to the beauty of the face. It is slightly stimulating, perhaps 
equal to a mild cup of tea, and is always offered to a guest. 
In process of time it becomes such a habit that elderly people 
are seldom seen without a pan in their mouths. This is 
especially true of Muhammadan women, whose beautiful teeth 
in girlhood become quite spoilt by its use. For, after marriage, 
the women think it adds to their beauty to have black teeth, 
and therefore add lime to the usual ingredients of pan, which 
causes them not only to blacken, but to decay. The astringent 
property of the lime also produces in time such feverishness 
of the mouth and dryness of the tongue as to cause it to 
become so shrivelled, that its owner cannot articulate clearly. 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 



23 



It is not uncommon to find a woman who will chew as many 
as fifty packets of pan in a day ! 

Tobacco is almost universally " drunk " by the men of 
India. The curious waterpipe is employed, and the tobacco 




3o* 



is damp from the molasses with which it is mixed, so that 
burning charcoal needs to be put into the bowl with the weed. 
What we in England know as home-X\te is lacking among the 
masses of India. The house is a shelter from the weather and 
a place for eating and sleeping. A species of reverence to- 



24 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

wards the husband, and fear of parents on the children's part 
often takes the place of family affection. Social intercourse 
between husband, wife, and children is almost unknown outside 
the homes of Christian converts. 

Wages are low amongst all classes. Labourers of the better 
class receive four annas a day, while those lower in the scale 
get only half that sum. However, sufficient food-grain for the 
day for a man and his family can be bought for coins the value 
of a penny ! Clothing is scanty and cheap. Fuel costs 
nothing, and house rent is scarcely known. Yet poverty, 
sometimes, extreme, is almost universal. Millions are shelter- 
less, sleeping beneath " God's blanket " — the sky— only. 
" Forty millions," says Sir W. Hunter, " go through life with 
too little food, many of them never knowing what it is to have 
their hunger satisfied ! " Even in prosperous times and with 
good harvests, hundreds of the poor in towns can hope to eat 
only every other day. 

Amongst the Indian peoples there is a distinct fourfold 
division. First come the non-Aryan tribes or Aborigines, a 
dark-skinned, flat-nosed, thick-lipped race, with short bodies 
and bullet heads, of whom there are about eighteen millions. 
Then the descendants of the Aryan or Sanscrit-speaking race, 
now called Brahmans and Rajputs, a tall, slim people, with 
finely-modelled features, fair complexion, high forehead, and 
slightly oval skull, numbering about sixteen millions. Next 
comes the great, mixed population, generally known as the 
Hindus, a vast company of about 208 millions. And last, 
but by no means least in importance, the Muhammadans, who 
began to come to India about 1000 a.d., numbering some 
forty-five millions. 

The people are divided into a great number of castes or 
classes, who, though they may speak and work together, will 
not visit each other, or eat and drink together. 

This doctrine of caste originated hundreds, if not thousands, 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 25 

ol years ago, and a more complete system of gradation in 
society could hardly be conceived. The Brahmans or priests 
claim the highest rank. The Brahman, say they, proceeded 
from the mouth of Brahm the Creator, the Kshattriya (or 
warrior) from his arms, the Vaisya (or merchant class) from his 
thighs, and the Siidra (or servant class) from his feet. This 
legend is true so far that the Brahmans represent the brain 
power of the Indian people, and the Siidras the down-trodden 
serfs. The three highest castes are said to be twice born, and 
are allowed to wear the 'poitra,' i.e. a little necklace of thread, 
of which all who wear it are exceedingly proud. But the main 
object in life of the Siidras — the once-born — is to serve the 
others, and they are taught it is an honour for them to be 
allowed to put the dust from a Brahman's foot on their head, 
or to drink the water in which he has washed his feet ! Even 
the best educated and richest Hindu Babu will prostrate him- 
self in the streets of Calcutta before some Brahman beggar he 
may accidentally meet, and the " holy father " will deign no 
look of recognition at the devotee at his feet, but, with head 
erect, pass on sublimely unmoved. One section of the Brah- 
man community lives on public charity. " ' What is your occu- 
pation?' I asked of one the other day," says a traveller. 
11 Madam ! I am a beggar ! " was the reply, delivered with the 
air of a prince. At present, the original castes do not exist 
in their purity ; the Brahmans and Siidras remain most distinct, 
the latter class constituting more than four-fifths of the popula- 
tion. 

Caste regulations are very rigid, and interweave themselves 
with the minutest details of daily life. A man or woman 
dreads doing anything which may be against the rules of caste. 
A man may be a liar, a thief, or even a worse sinner, and yet 
continue in his social circle ; but the moment he breaks one of 
the least important laws of caste, he is expelled from the 
society to which he belongs, and treated as an outcast. He 



26 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

must forsake all who are near and dear to him. His parents 
perform his funeral ceremonies, his wife puts on widow's weeds, 
and is looked upon as a widow by all her people. 

Caste can generally, however, be regained by prostrations, 
drinking a mixture of the five products of the cow, paying a 
fine, and furnishing a feast. 

It has been well said that in India, custom, caste, and creed 
present a triple and well-nigh impregnable fortress against 
Christianity. "Caste is the Hindu's environment, and the 
greatest obstacle encountered by the Christian missionary." 
Like an iron chain, it fetters in cruel bondage individual life. 
There are endless subdivisions of the four great castes ; the 
Madras census returns for 1881 contained 19,044 caste names. 
But the same tyranny holds good through all, a tyranny so 
bitter that it has raised a protest from the Hindu himself. 
" Does a Brahman wish to marry his daughter at a mature and 
properly marriageable age ? Then comes the tyrant Caste and 
says, 'You shall not keep your daughter unmarried beyond 
the age of eight or ten, unless you choose to incur the penalty 
of excommunication.' Does a man wish to countenance the 
re-marriage of little girls plunged into lifelong misery by a 
nominal widowhood ? Caste says, ' No, you will be excom- 
municated.' Does a man wish to dispense with any of the 
unmeaning, idolatrous ceremonies with which native society is 
hampered ? Caste says, ' No, or you will be excommunicated.' 
If a Brahman feel thirsty, and has no other water but such as 
is brought by a Siidra near him, he cannot drink it, for caste 
forbids it on pain of excommunication ! . . . Such is 
our caste system, so unjustifiable in principle, so unfair in 
organisation, and so baneful in its consequences to the highest 
interests of the country." 

The few benefits supposed by some to be conferred by caste, 
such as a certain amount of temperance, cleanliness, moral 
restraint, and contentment, are far outweighed by the evils of 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 27 

the system. It encourages harmful customs, checks commerce, 
prevents the growth of national worth, and, above all, imposes 
upon the people the most abject spiritual slavery. 

But the immense progress made under British rule, the 
introduction of telegraphy, railways, machinery, medicines, 
together with the rapid spread of education, are beginning to 
produce a marked change. Caste is being shaken to its very 
foundation, since Brahman and Siidra attend the same schools, 
share the same mat, graduate at the same college, find them- 
selves shoulder to shoulder in Government employ, side by 
side in public conveyances, and using alternately electrical 
appliances in commercial life. The people are being drawn 
together, not only by the force of English education common 
alike to all, but by common political interests. Dr. Thoburn, 
in his deeply interesting book " India and Malaysia," remarks : 
" India is destined to become a Christian empire. When that 
change takes place, an active, vigorous Christianity will do 
more in a century to weld all the diverse peoples of the 
peninsula into one great nation, than all other influences com- 
bined have done in the past 1,000 years." 

The Hindus as a race are very superstitious. If a cat run 
across the road when a man starts on an errand, he will con- 
sider it a very bad omen, and will not proceed any further. If 
a lizard chirps, conversation stops. If one sneezes when a 
subject is under discussion it is a bad omen ; but if repeated 
it is a good one ! Certain hours in every day are considered 
inauspicious. 

It is but a step from superstition to religion with the native 
of Hindustan. Everywhere in India there are idols : on every 
high hill and under every green tree. By the roadsides and 
on the banks of rivers and tanks are little earthenware shrines 
and niches for saucer lamps, in which lights are kept burning 
before the gods. Of the Hindus it has been said, "They eat 
religiously, drink religiously, bathe religiously, dress religiously, 



28 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



and sin religiously." The number of Hindu deities is stated 
at 330,000,000. This is a figure of speech, indicating that 
they are beyond computation. We can glance at a few of the 
chief ones only. 

Brahm, the Creator, is generally regarded as the Supreme 
Deity. No temple or temple rites are prescribed ior him. 
This is the god usually revered by the Brahmo-Samajes. 

In process of time, Brahm brooded for a year over a golden 
egg placed in the waters, and Brahma was produced, the first 
person of the Hindu Triad. He is represented as a red man 

with four arms and 
four heads. His wor- 
ship has ceased be- 
cause of gross sin 
which he is said to 
have committed ! 

Vishnu, the Pre- 
server, the second, 
and, we may add, the 
foulest, of the Triad 
is generally represen- 
ted as a black man 
with four arms, and is most worshipped in Southern India. 
The common people render the greater part of their worship 
to his ten incarnations, one of which, Krishna, is perhaps 
the most popular. He is the most impressive and most 
influential of the loathsome three ; the most powerful, be- 
cause the only personal god in his incarnation of Krishna, in 
India. 

Siva, the Destroyer, completes the Triad, and is most 
worshipped in Northern India. He is variously represented as 
an ascetic, as ornamented with a necklace of bones and skulls, 
as five-headed, etc. The character of the worship performed to 
him is unspeakably licentious. 




A SAUCER LAMP. 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 



29 



One other god, Ganesa, the son of Siva, we may mention, 
who presides over Wisdom. He is always represented with an 
elephant's head, and has the appearance of a glutton. He is 
found in most places of business, and is invoked at the com- 
mencement of every important enterprise. All books begin 
with " Honour to Ganesa." Ambitious school-boys, desiring 
his aid in their lessons, praise him by telling him how much he 
can eat ! 

We cannot stain our pages with the detestable doings of 
these Hindu deities, or wade 
through the mire of Indian 
theology. But it may be 
asked, Are all these things 
known to the ordinary Hindu? 
Yes, well known. In their 
sacred books, from the mouth 
of the Brahman 'guru,' i.e., 
teacher, and by the dramas 
enacted in their temples, the 
stories of their gods are more 
familiar to Indian people 
than the history of Christ is 
to many Englishmen. 

The worship of the goddesses is considered specially im- 
portant. Lachmi, the goddess of prosperity, is more popular 
than Sarasvati, the goddess of wisdom ; but Kali, also 
worshipped as " Durga " or " Parvati," is by far the favourite 
deity, the goddess of India. Calcutta derives its name from 
" Kali Ghat," the bathing-place sacred to Kali, where there is 
a noted temple in honour of her, and to this holy place people 
wend their way from all parts of India because of the great 
benefits a visit is supposed to give. This temple is an 
enormous source of profit to its owners, as they receive about 
l\d. as a fee for every goat that is sacrificed there. It stands 




30 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

on the bank of a stream, and is almost hidden by numbers of 
small shops, from which pilgrims take home, for their friends, 
mementoes of their visit. On a roofed-in platform in front 
of the temple, Brahmans are always to be seen, reading the 
sacred books or repeating the names of the gods as an act of 
merit. In front of this platform are frames fixed in the ground 
for holding the victims to be sacrificed. On the other side is 
the shrine containing the repulsive image of Kali. The figure 
of this goddess is one of the most horrible in the Hindu 
pantheon. She is represented as a black woman with three 
glaring eyes, the third being in her forehead. Her huge 
tongue, made of bright gold, protrudes from her mouth, and 
reaches to her waist. For earrings she has two human heads, 
a garland of human skulls for a necklace, and a waist-band 
formed of human hands. All these decorations she is supposed 
to have taken from the enemies whom she slew during her visit 
to earth. She stands on the body of her husband, Siva. The 
explanation of her attitude is as follows. When she had 
completed the destruction of her enemies, she began to dance 
with joy. This dancing was so violent that the earth trembled, 
and was in danger of being shaken to pieces. The alarmed 
inhabitants cried to Siva for help until, finding himself power- 
less to interfere, he threw himself on the ground amongst the 
dead bodies of his wife's foes. Looking down and seeing her 
husband under her feet, Kali was suddenly overcome with 
shame, and put out her tongue (which is the way in which 
Bengalis blush to this day !) and at once desisted from her 
violent dancing. 

The reason assigned for offering the blood of goats and buffa- 
loes to Kali is one connected with her wars. On one occasion, 
when faint with her destructive work, she wanted some refresh* 
ment and quaffed the blood of her enemies. Formerly the people 
offered human sacrifices to her, but as this cannot now be 
done, animals are slain in the belief that, seeing the blood, the 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 



3i 



deity will remember her pleasure in drinking the blood of her 
enemies; and, being pleased, will listen graciously to the 
prayer of the suppliant. At certain times the number ot 
victims slain in front of the image is so many, that the court- 
yard literally streams with blood, and anything more repulsive 
can scarcely be imagined. 

Vishnu and Siva's worship are often very formal, the idol 
being treated precisely as if it were a living person, being 
washed, clothed, fed, fanned, laid to rest, and so forth by the 
attendant priests. The people make much of repeating the 




EVERYWHERE IN INDIA THERE ARE IDOLS. 



names of their gods ; and a child is often given the name of a 
deity, that merit may be laid up every time it is mentioned. 

Plants are worshipped, partly because it is believed that 
gods, demons, men and animals may transmigrate into them. 
The margosa, wood apple, pipal tree, sacred kusha grass and 
tulsi plant 1 are those most revered. We have already referred 
to the river worship of Northern India, and on the coast the 
sea is worshipped. Offerings are given to it for a safe voyage ; 
if a child is born, something must be thrown into it as a thank* 

1 This latter is especially the Hindu woman's divinity. All the religion 
of many of the women consists in walking round the tulsi plant, in saying 
prayers to it, or in placing offerings before it. 



32 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

offering, and on many other occasions ' puja' is done to the 
ocean. 

A very common form of worship is offered to tools or imple- 
ments of trade. At the Tool Feast, soldiers place their guns, 
swords, bullets, etc., in a heap, employ a Brahman priest to 
consecrate them, and then, burning incense and presenting 
offerings of flowers and fruits, they bow down before them, 
praying that these weapons may make them victorious in war. 
In the same way the carpenter worships his hammer and 
nails ; the blacksmith his bellows and anvil ; the bricklayer 
his trowel and spirit-level ; the barber his scissors, razor and 
strop ; the tailor his needle, thimble, scissors, and thread ; the 
shopman his scales and weights, and school-boys their books, 
slate, pencil, pen and inkbottle. 

Animals of various kinds are held sacred, mainly because 
of the Hindu doctrine of Transmigration. " Even a flea may 
enclose the soul of some person who was a sage or a saint." 
The tiger, the monkey, the cobra, the cow are all reverenced 
as deities. 

In the villages, rocks or trees marked with red paint are 
divine, and worship is offered to them ; but the most popular 
village deities are the " Mothers " who have specially to do 
with diseases. The nearly quarter of a million who die 
annually of smallpox, it is considered, owe their death chiefly 
to the Smallpox goddess, "Mother of Death," who is sup- 
posed to scatter the seeds of this terrible disease for her 
amusement, and would be enraged if persons were to be 
vaccinated. 

Demon-worship is specially common in Southern India. 
"The great majority of the inhabitants of India from the 
cradle to the grave," says Sir Monier Williams, " are victims 
of a form of mental disease which is best expressed by the 
term demono-phobia. They are haunted and oppressed by a 
perpetual dread of demons on the watch to harm them." 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 33 

Pilgrimages are a very important feature of Hinduism. 
India's great Mecca is the sacred Benares with its holy wells. 
Next in importance is the pilgrimage to Puri, where is the 
temple of the idol Jagannath, "Lord of the World," to which 
multitudes resort. 

The doctrine of Transmigration is a cardinal fact of Hindu- 
ism. It [professes to explain the differing conditions of 
those born on the earth. One's lot is due to merit or de- 
merit in previous stages of existence. For example, a Hindu 
woman, in order to comfort a missionary who was rather 
distressed at the rudeness of another woman, assured her that 
such an ungrateful sinner would not trouble her in the next 
world, for she would be sure to be born a worm, and of a very 
low kind too ! It is only after passing through 8,400,000 
births or existences on earth, that the Hindu may reach the 
happy moment when his soul is absorbed into the Deity. A 
Hindu poet thus writes, — 

" How many births are past I cannot tell ; 
How many yet to come no man can say ; 
But this alone I know, and know full well, 
That pain and grief embitter all the way." 

Such are the popular beliefs which constitute the faith of the 
208,000,000 entered as Hindus in the census of 1891. Other 
faiths than Hinduism are largely represented in India. Bud- 
dhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Jews, and other religious sects have 
thousands of adherents ; and it is a notable fact that " the 
Empress of India reigns over upwards of 45,000,000 of 
Muhammadans, while in the Ottoman Empire the Sultan 
reigns over but a little more than 39,000,000 — about two- 
thirds only of the number found in Victoria's Indian realm." 

" If I were asked," says Dr. Thoburn, " to give an account 
in a few words of the prevailing religions of India, I should 
say that the Hindus take the lead, followed at a great distance 
by the Muhammadans, while the third class of religionists are 

D 



34 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

demon-worshippers, probably numbering less than forty or fifty 
millions of people." 

The Muhammadans have received through their sacred 
volume, the Koran, a more definite idea of Satan as the prince 
of devils than the Hindus have ever acquired. Devil-worship 
is more openly avowed among them than among other sects. 
Another important Muhammadan dogma, and belief among 
the people of India, without regard to creed, is Fatalism. 
" Qismat " (fate) is the universal, sullen cry of hopeless sub- 
mission to disaster that may befall man, woman or child. 
The pious believe that every child on the sixth night after its 
birth has its destiny for good or evil, which nothing can reverse, 
imprinted upon its forehead. If a man does something wicked 
and is sent to jail for ten years, they say, " Poor fellow, what 
could he do ? It was his fate ! " It is difficult to exaggerate 
the baneful effects of this universal, blighting error. 

In her stirring book, Daiighters of the King^ Miss Hewlett 
has pictured in detail the ceremonies performed over the dying 
and dead Hindu. Here we can give but an outline of what 
occurs, quoted from that source. 

As soon as any one among the Hindus is thought to be 
dying, the friends send for the Brahmans and give them 
money, food, and clothes, and if they can afford it, a cow. 
This is called ' mansna,' and they hope thus to obtain 
pardon for the departing soul. If a Hindu be allowed by 
accident to die on a bedstead or in any upstairs room, it is 
believed he has committed so terrible a sin that he can never 
go to heaven unless his relatives spend very large sums of 
money to obtain forgiveness. A place on the ground, there- 
fore, is prepared for the dying person, by spreading ' phalgu ' 
i e., sand brought from the bed of the Ganges, and over this 
* kusha ' grass. Upon this he is laid to breathe his last. 
Near his feet a little hole is dug and filled with Ganges water, 
so that he may die with his feet in that holy river ! Close to 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 35 

his head they place a heap of grain and fruit, while two little 
lamps made of flour and water paste, with wicks floating in 
mustard oil, are placed in the hands, so that to the last there 
may be light before the eyes for the soul. These and other 
ceremonies are performed by the nearest relative. 

A class of Brahmans called ' Acharaj ' have only to do 
with the laying out of the dead, and they are never admitted 
into any house except for this purpose, neither would any 
Hindu have dealings with them at other times. In the case 
of a married woman whose husband is living, she is shrouded 
entirely in red after death, and must wear three jewels. If 
she is a widow, or unmarried, she is dressed in white and has 
no jewels. 

The bier, in the case of the very young and unmarried, is 
made of several short pieces of wood put together like a 
ladder, the use of small pieces of wood signifying that the life 
has been prematurely cut off. Four separate offerings to the 
god are made by the ' Acharaj ' at the time of the funeral 
procession towards the ' ghat ' or place of burning. On 
arrival there, the friends tear open the winding-sheet over the 
face, and turn the corpse so that the face is towards the sun. 
A large quantity of wood is then arranged, and the body 
placed upon it. Much ' ghi ' is poured over the wood to cause 
it to burn more quickly, while the mourners throw sandal- 
wood, etc., on the pile to show their love and respect. The 
corpse is then covered with the remainder of the wood, and it 
is set on fire by the nearest male relative. 

For many days afterwards a strict fast is enjoined upon the 
surviving relatives, and various intricate ceremonies known 
as ' shraddha ' have to be performed by the chief mourner. 
It is believed that it takes 360 days (a Hindu year) for the 
spirit to reach God ; and so important a part of a son's duty 
is it to see that the departed parent is provided with an inter- 
mediate body and enabled to perform the terrible journey to 



36 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

Yama,' that the word for son is 'putra,' i.e., one who saves 
from hell. Shraddha ceremonies are so costly as to com- 
pletely impoverish the people. 

The ashes of the devout Hindu are carefully gathered up, 
and within six months must be cast into the Ganges. Mean- 
while the soul for whom all these troublesome rites are per- 
formed may pass, after a weary journey, into any of the lower 
animals — a horse, a cat, a rat, or even a snake ! So hopeless, 
comfortless, cruel is the Hindu faith. 

Miss G. Gollock has depicted a first glimpse of the funeral 
pyre at the river-side, and the awful reflection it must ever 
bring to the mind of a follower of Christ : — 

"Presently we came to the Burning Ghat, whence a thin 
thread of blue smoke began to ascend. Fascinated, yet re- 
pelled, we lingered before it not a hundred yards away. A 
pile of wood, lit from beneath, was slowly igniting, and two 
feet covered in white protruded, showing what lay there. By 
the river side, lapped by the muddy wavelets, two more bodies 
lay, one covered in red and one in white. The thin drapery 
showed every inch of outline as they lay there, lashed with 
tightly drawn cord to a rough stretcher of wood, just two 
unbarked branches with laths laid across. As we watched, a 
fourth corpse was carried down the sloping Ghat and laid at 
the water's edge. . . . Here, day by day, the poor dead 
bodies are burned to ashes ; and what of the immortal souls ? 
God alone knows the destiny of those heathen who have not 
had the offer of salvation, but the absence of Divinely-given 
hope concerning them impels us intensely to redoubled efforts 
to reach them here and now. All round, the bathing and puja 
went on uninterruptedly ; men began to build another pile of 
wood ; a barber came and began to shave the head of one of 
the corpses, moving it callously to and fro. ... It seemed 
as if the world cared not that those four souls had left it ; but 
the mystery of their souls hung as a cloud above the Ghat. 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 37 

God grant that when we all stand before Him we may be free 

from blood-guiltiness concerning such as these ! " 

The Muhammadans have no brighter or less superstitious 

rites connected with death than their Hindu neighbours, 

although they differ in many respects, and notably in that the 

corpse is not burnt, but buried. The grave is dug with an 

excavation on one side within it, long enough for the body to 

lie in, and deep enough for it to sit up in. It is supposed that 

while the funeral service is being read the soul finally departs 

from the brain, and when the obsequies are over, it is believed 

that the angel Gabriel comes into the grave, tells the dead 

man to sit up, and questions him, "Whose servant art thou?" 

The Muhammadans say that in their graveyards screams and 

groans may be heard as Gabriel administers chastisement to 

refractory followers of the Prophet. Hence the custom, as 

soon as the lamps are lighted in the evening, for all devout 

Muhammadans to repeat some portion of the Koran and to 

pray. At length an ant that happens to be in the grave goes 

into the dead man's ear, and tells him to say, " I am the 

servant of God, and follower of Muhammad. God is the only 

Lord, and Muhammad is the true prophet of God." After 

this the angel leaves off beating, and goes away, saying, 

"Rest in peace until the judgment day." 

* * * * * 

We have glanced at India, her land and her people, and 
surely conviction is borne in upon us of the solemnity of our 
trust. Can any one conceive a responsibility more graye and 
more fully fraught with wondrous possibilities ? For, to-day, 
India — the home of still greater multitudes in the future 
— in its vast reaches of territory, in its complex mass of 
nations and faiths, the prize of Asia, is ours. The great gate 
of the East has been flung widely open to us. Is it not in 
order that the "nation which keepeth the Truth" may enter 
in? 



3 8 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

Through the portals of that eastern gate, incessant, myriad, 
pressing calls are reaching us. Western civilisation is flooding 
the country, bringing with it a wider knowledge of the world's 
ways, and, alas ! a deeper familiarity with its vices, its scepti- 
cism, its sin. The new civilisation is crystallising into a 
godless, irreligious life. Millions are rushing on to Christless 
graves. Yet the yearning, deeply religious heart of India is 
restless, unsatisfied. 

With a passionate love for all that is above Nature, with a 
longing desire to find some Nirvana of perfect and unbroken 
rest, with an intense earnestness about the salvation of the 
soul, India, though she knows it not, is crying out for God. 
Are we hastening towards her to quench this soul-thirst with a 
draught of that Living Water, of which if a man drink he shall 
never thirst again ? 

The Church of the West owes a great debt which she can 
never fully repay to the shining lands of the morning. From 
that very East arose upon her the Sun of Righteousness Who 
has brought " healing upon His wings," "the light of the 
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 
Through the gate of the East a flood of light has shone upon 
us; through that gate let us return the revelation of the 
Dayspring from on high. 

No intellects appear to be more endowed with choice gifts, 

no characters seem to be more filled with capabilities for good, 

no hearts in the world appear to be more naturally tender, 

responsive, grateful for affection shown than those of these 

children of the East. Should not the heart of England be 

roused to holy, self-sacrificing effort till its mightiest conquest 

over India be won, and the noble heart of India lies at the 

feet of Jesus in loving, loyal surrender ? 

***** 

It is the heart of India that we seek. And the heart of 
India is the woman of India. For it is among the wonderful 



A GLANCE AT THE LAND 39 

openings of the hour, that from the inner shrines of Indian 
homes, women's voices of invitation are sounding, and the 
key of all India is offered to missionary handmaidens. 

A little band of consecrated women is pledged to carry 
the Water of Life as swiftly as may be to 130,000,000 heathen 
women ere they die. With feeblest resource of numbers, 
with grievously straitened finance, but with superabounding 
faith, they have resolved to win the citadel of our Indian Em- 
pire for Christ. 

Lifting the Zenana curtain — fit emblem of the dark pall of 
ignorance, superstition, and misery, behind its folds — they are 
coming, going, to-day ; succouring, yearning over and bringing 
thousands of their Indian sisters to the Saviour's feet. And, 
bending over them, " a great cloud of witnesses " in yonder 
glory watches the contest which they began long years ago ; 
expectantly awaiting the glad hour when those who are now 
prisoners behind the pardah shall unite with them as freed 
spirits before the Throne. 



CHAPTER II 
Behind the Pardah 

A Kashmiri pandit has recently written: "The narrator of the 
present condition of women in India can a tale unfold which would 
harrow the soul and freeze the blood of every civilised man . . . that 
marvellous tragedy of existence which is carried on in an Indian 
Zenana." 

HOUGH glancing long at the Land, 
we have not yet obtained more 
than a glimpse of its Women. But 
the number of India's women — 
about a hundred and thirty mil- 
lions — is in itself a startling fact. 
Women and girls are everywhere ; 
they literally swarm. In the Pun- 
jab, for instance, crowds of all 
ages and castes, protecting them- 
selves more or less completely from the gaze of the pas- 
sers-by, are met with in every street and lane. Like a flock 
of pigeons coming suddenly when grain is scattered, is the 
curious way in which a quiet house in a quiet alley is all at 
once filled with women. " But when the house is filled, it is 
by no means the end of the women," says a lady medical 
missionary ; " for let one only do something for a sick person 
which looks as if it were giving relief, and often in a moment 
one will hear ' Shabash ! ' which means ' Well done ! ' and 
looking up, will find that the commendation proceeds from 
crowds of admiring onlookers on the roof of the next house, or 

40 




BEHIND THE PARDAH 41 

perched, balanced on their heels, all round the wall of the 
court where one may be sitting." 

Let us now lift the pardah, that veil which screens from 
gaze of outside world the inmates of the Zenana, and enter 
the women's apartments of an Indian home. 

The word Zenana is of Persian origin — 'zan' = a woman — 
and usually means the apartment or group of apartments 
where the women of the household live. 

The house is divided into two distinct parts — the outer and 
the inner court. The women's court, or Zenana, is always 
situated at the back of the house, and is usually the darkest 
and most uncomfortable part of the whole establishment. 
Amongst the very poor, and especially the Muhammadans, a 
piece of coarse sacking or a worn-out sari does duty as pardah, 
or hanging curtain at the door. In better houses, barred 
windows, shutters and bambu ' chicks,' or sun blinds, keep 
out intruders from the women's quarters. 

Only well-to-do people are confined to the Zenana, and only 
those of some nationalities. In South India, Hindu women 
may go out much more freely than in the North ; yet Muham- 
madan ladies, on the other hand, are very strictly secluded. 
The Marathi women have much freedom, and the Parsis walk 
where they will, and even drive out with their husbands. The 
pardah literally means "veil" or "screen," and is the common 
term used for the seclusion of women. The pardah or 
' gasha ' system is more generally observed where there is 
most Muhammadanism. The Moslem invaders of old time 
forcibly added Hindu women to their harems, and, to protect 
their wives and daughters, the Hindus kept them indoors, 
until gradually the Zenana system became their own custom, 
and seclusion the standard of respectability. 

In time, women, aspiring to a higher social position, were 
not altogether unwilling captives as "Pardah Nishin." A 
high-born lady has been known to exclaim, " I would rather 



42 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

die than let my face be seen outside." When going on a 
railway journey, the lady must be borne to the station in a litter 
draped with heavy curtains all round, whatever the tempera- 
ture may be. One wonders how she escapes fainting when thus 
carried along at only a few inches above the reeking earth, 
foul with effluvia, shrouded in dense clouds of dust, swarming 
with flies, and the thermometer running up to 120 . Arrived 
at the station, the husband first enters the carriage and closes 
every shutter, and when it is perfectly dark, the lady is allowed 
to take her seat. 

If the pardah lady's evidence be required at a court of law, 
she is carried thither in her fast-closed 'palki.' Some woman 
acquainted with her is directed by the magistrate to look in 
and see whether the right woman is within those closed cur- 
tains, and the invisible one's testimony is then taken. " On 
one occasion in the writer's experience," says the Rev. H. E. 
Perkins (late I.C.S.), "the evidence of so many ladies was 
required that the court adjourned to the defendant's house, 
and a nurse of the plaintiff's family was sent into the female 
apartments to identify each witness, as she was called to the 
other side of the thick curtain to give evidence. This sort of 
thing went on for an hour or so, when suddenly the old nurse 
rushed out and desired the judge to stop his pen, as the wrong 
woman was speaking. Instantly there arose a score of angry 
voices in denial, and order was finally restored only by the 
helpless judge threatening to go behind the veil and see with 
his own eyes which lady it was who was speaking. This was 
too terrible to be borne, and silence reigned again." 

Yet it is true that the majority of Zenana ladies would 
prefer to remain behind the pardah even did their people wish 
them to throw it off. "A sweet little Muhammadan lady- 
friend of mine," remarked Miss Sorabji lately, "said the other 
day that the most uncomfortable drive she had ever had was 
once when her husband induced her to go out with an English 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



43 



lady in an open carriage. . . . It is sad," she continued, "to 
see these young lives sacrificed to old customs. I was once 
at a ladies' party in India where outdoor games were played, 
and, out of about fifty Indian ladies present, only one of them 
really knew how to run, and she, up to the age of ten, had 
attended an English school." 

" During my residence of a quarter of a century in India," 
says Dr. Cust, " I had only twice the opportunity of convers- 
ing with an Indian lady, so jealously screened from notice are 
the wives and daughters of the well-to-do. Of the poorer 
classes there are numbers of women in the fields and streets 




c>is< 



working like cattle ; but as soon as a man gets a comfortable 
income, he shuts his wife within four walls as a token of his 
respectability, and calls it Pardah." 

One little incident lately given us by a C.E.Z.M.S. mis- 
sionary in Bengal illustrates the seclusion of pardah life. 
Miss Adams had obtained permission to visit the women of a 
certain household. As the eldest son was conducting her to 
the Zenana, he said, as they passed through the door leading 
from the public apartments of the large house to the women's 
quarters, "Our ladies never cross this doorstep." Of course 
he meant " never " unless carried in a palki or other covered 



44 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

conveyance to visit their friends for a wedding or some other 
great family event. 

In villages or remote towns, however, the women only keep 
in the background, and draw their ' chaddars ' well over their 
faces when men are near. And we must not forget that, long 
before Hindu husbands began locking up their wives, Manu, 
the highest Hindu authority, wrote his laws, which, to this 
day, bind women with a chain of ignorance and inferiority, 
and make it even virtuous of her to confess, " Miss Sahiba, we 
are like the animals ; we can eat and work and die, but we 
cannot think." They would never, under any circumstances, 
enter into conversation with a man. Among Hindus a 
woman is more careful to veil her face in the presence of her 
husband than of even remote male relatives j but a Muham- 
madan woman, except for a short time after her marriage, 
looks her husband in the face and talks to him freely. 

A good Hindu wife cooks her husband's food with her own 
hands, although she may have servants in the house, and the 
cooking of meals, performed out in the verandah or in a little 
cook-house, takes up a large portion of a Hindu lady's time. 
She rises early, and sends her servant to buy the vegetables, 
fish, etc., from the ■ bazar.' The lady herself prepares the 
vegetables, and rubs spices to a paste for the curry. Meanwhile, 
the servant has carried in water in a large earthenware jar and 
swept the room, then ground the pulse or corn between the 
mill stones. 

After the lady has finished cooking, she goes to the tank to 
bathe. It may be asked : How can high-caste Hindu women 
who are secluded in Zenanas carry out the Hindu rule of 
ceremonial bathing? A C.E.Z. missionary, Mrs. Greaves, 
who has worked in the valley of the Ganges, where the rules 
of Hinduism are strictly observed, says : " Many high-caste 
ladies in India have jars of Ganges water, which is sprinkled 
over them, brought to their houses from long distances. In 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



45 



order to bathe in the Hiigli, one of our high-caste pupils in 
Calcutta used to be carried to the river shut up in a palki 
without cushions, so that beneath her there was nothing but 
the open cane-work. On reaching the river, the doors of the 
box being shut, and the curtain drawn over the outside, it was 
lowered into the water, which came bubbling up through the 
holes, so that my friend was able to have a bath without even 
seeing what the river was like, or being seen by one of the 
busy throng that usually crowd its banks in Calcutta." On 
all sacred days and full moons the elderly women of the family 
are permitted to go by " the women's walk " to the river to 
bathe. They put on a large outer 'chaddar,' much like a sheet, 
and draw it closely over the face, taking an offering with them, 
such as a handful of rice, fruit, sweetmeats, or it may be 
copper coins. They go into the water with one garment on, 
and on coming out a dry chaddar is dexterously put round 
the shoulders, while the wet one is dropped on the ground. 
The bath and change of garment are achieved with the utmost 
modesty and care. After coming up from the river, the offer- 
ings are given to the priest who sits conveniently near. 

There is a daily 'puja,' i.e. worship which the Hindu 
woman performs. In the courtyard stands the Tulsi plant, 
and, if procurable, near by it will be seen the ammonite, a 
circular shell found in the streams of Nepal. A corrupt and 
debasing story connected with the god Vishnu is the origin of 
the daily care and reverent tending given by the Hindu woman 
to the "sacred" plant and shell, the while she repeats the 
name of her god hundreds of times ! For the prayers of 
Hindus often consist merely in the repetition of the names 
of their gods. " We have frequently met Hindu women with 
their prayer-bags," says Mrs. Chowdhury, a converted Brah- 
man lady, "even in railway trains, repeating, * Hori, Krishna, 
Hori, Krishna, Ram, Ram, Hori, Hori,' and turning the 
beads in their rosary at the same time. Women are the chief 



4 6 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



supporters of idolatry in India, and they are deceived and 
cheated by the wicked, crafty priests in every possible way." 

After ablutions and worship comes breakfast; but, as we 
have already noticed, the wife never dreams of sitting down 
to eat with her husband and sons. As a rule, after serving 
them, she eats what they may please to leave ! After this 
mid-day meal, the lady takes a long sleep, generally upon a 
mat on the floor, after which, braiding the hair, looking over 
the jewels, gossiping with any neighbour who may come in 
by a back lane, or over the roof of an adjoining house, passes 
the dreary hours of the hot afternoon, till it is time to prepare 
the evening meal. 

If a missionary should come in, she would take a look 
round at the door of the courtyard, and should the ladies be 
engaged in any occupation connected with the meals of the 
household, she would go to another house, knowing her 
presence would be unwelcome, as the touch or shadow of 
a Christian would make the Hindu woman ceremonially 
unclean, and would necessitate a bath and washing of her 
4 sari ' before she could take her food. 

The garment that is character- 
ristic of Indian womanhood from 
Cape Comorin to Quetta is the 
sari. Whether of brocade, silk, 
muslin or cotton it is the same in 
its various forms, and is always 
gracefully draped. "A full-sized 
sari should be about five and a 
half yards long and from thirty- 
six to forty-six inches wide. To 
put it on, a woman makes a few 
plaits at one end with her hand, which she tucks into the front 
part of the sari, already wound once round her waist. The 
length of the material is then carried completely round her 




BEHIND THE PARDAH 47 

figure towards the left, and the end is taken over the shoulder 
and draped. This garment requires neither pin nor button. 
The right arm is left free. One sees tiny girls of three and four 
emulating the example of their mothers with pieces of calico 
about as large as a pocket-handkerchief ; for the Indian girl is 
as keenly anxious to leave the shapeless sacque^ which is the 
first garment of her baby years, and attain to the dignity of a 
sari, as her sister of the West is to acquire a long skirt and its 
attendant privileges ! " 

The Madras sari is differently arranged, and does not cover 
the head ; the Marathi puts hers on in still another way ; while 
the Gujrati has the prettiest style of all, and her garment is 
often a warm deep crimson edged with rich embroidery. 

Beneath the sari, well-to-do women wear over the shoulders 
a tiny ' choli ' or jacket, cut from one piece of stuff and only 
shaped by shoulder seams. This always fits literally skin- 
tight, and frequently is tied with a crossover string knotted 
between the shoulder-blades. 

The lower Hindustani castes wear skirts, jackets and 
{ chaddars.' The chaddar is a garment two and a half yards 
long and one and a quarter wide, made in any material, plain 
or embroidered, white or coloured. One end covers the head 
and the other is brought across in front and thrown over the 
left shoulder. A group of women wearing blue and red 
chaddars, at work among the wheat fields, heighten the beauty 
of an always bright landscape. 

Very different from all these are Muhammadan costumes, 
in which trousers invariably take the place of skirts. The 
most commonly-worn fit closely at the hips, and are gored to 
a great width at the bottom, their capaciousness depending 
entirely upon the wealth of the wearer. A handsome pair 
would sweep the floor a yard behind, but they are caught up 
in folds in front, and tucked in at the waist, hanging like large 
ruffles with anything but a pretty effect. The jacket is a little 



4 8 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



vest-like thing, all embroidery, and the chaddar, heavily 
trimmed, is generally of net or very thin material. The 
Muhammadans wear much more colour than the Hindus; 
the order being reversed with them — the well-to-do classes 
wearing colour, and the working women, white. 

The Moslem woman screens herself from public gaze even 
more rigidly than her Hindu sister. The Muhammadan pardah 
lady's out-door costume — the white linen 'burqa' — is a 

voluminous, surplice-like gar- 
ment without sleeves, envelop- 
ing her from head to foot, the 
only aperture for light and air 
being a small piece of silk 
netting insertion over the eyes, 
which are the only features ren- 
dered partially visible. The 
Muhammadan women wear 
much more made-up raiment 
than the Hindu ; there are 
strong Hindu 
■^ traditions 
against the 
use of the needle, and there- 
fore, as a rule, they avoid 
cut-out or sewn garments. 
But, from the poorest sweeper-woman of the towns to the 
wealthy ' begam ' of a native State, the women of all classes 
are loaded with jewellery. There are pendants falling on the 
forehead ; as many ear-rings as can find place from tip to tip 
of the ear ; nose-rings so large that they can sometimes be tied 
back to the ear-rings ; necklaces in close bands round the 
throat, and hanging in larger and larger circles to the waist ; 
armlets above the elbow, and bracelets by the dozen below ; 
rings on the fingers, rings on the toes— sometimes with little 




FINGER AND TOE RINGS. 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



49 



bells attached — anklets and instep ornaments. It is a curious 
fact that no native woman uses hairpins. The general method 
of disposing of her tresses, which she is fond of oiling and 
scenting, is to twist them into a close knot at the back of her 
head ; and this seldom " comes down " under any exercise or 
exertion, or looks anything but neat and smooth. 

The poor working-women who cannot afford the precious 
metals, array themselves in heavy pewter or earthenware orna- 
ments, and in enormous masses of ironmongery in the shape 
of armlets or anklets, five inches deep and one inch thick of 
perfectly solid ore. From six to eight pounds is by no means 
an unusual weight for one of these iron rings ! 




It is not only that Indian women like ornaments and jewels, 
but because they are a sort of deposit of money, that they are 
worn. If a woman has money to lay by, she has it made up 
into bangles and puts them on her arms. "What will you do 
now ? " was asked of a Christian widow who had lost her 
employment for conscience' sake. "Eat these," she replied, 
holding out her arms to show a heavy pair of bracelets. She' 
ate them, and when better times came had another pair of 
bangles made for another rainy day. A bride's dowry consists 
largely of jewellery and, as may be imagined, it is a fruitful 
source of trouble in jealousy and quarrels, and a perpetual 
anxiety, on account of the temptation it affords to robbery 

E 



5 o BEHIND THE PARDAH 

If our peep behind the pardah revealed nothing more to us 
than the somewhat weird customs of India's women, we might 
not see more than the irksomeness and the monotony of the 
life which our Eastern sisters are leading in their Zenanas. 
We might even argue, in the case of the Muhammadan ladies, 
that an existence which would be intolerable to active English 
women is positively pleasant to a people so wanting in energy 
that they are always willing to postpone indefinitely any 
occupation in which they are interested, and are placidly con- 
tent to accept ivaiting as their normal condition. But there 
is a bitterer condition than semi-blissful ennui behind the 
'chicks, 5 i.e. sun blinds, of the women's rooms. It may 
be scarcely credible to us that thousands of women in town 
Zenanas have never even seen a tree. The utter vacuity of 
a mind which has no intercourse with others, no books, no 
amusements, few household duties to perform, and no know- 
ledge of outside life, is difficult to imagine in all its pitifulness. 
And this is not all. Even where quarrelling is comparatively 
absent, and the numerous wives and mothers-in-law contrive to 
live peaceably under the sovereign sway of the oldest ' Bow,' 
i.e. wife (who holds the purse-strings of the household), the 
conversation of even high-caste women is often flagrantly 
coarse and unchaste. The English lady missionary has again 
and again been besought by the educated Hindu gentlemen of 
a Zenana to visit their ladies, "not to teach them Christianity, 
but to raise their tone by intercourse with them ! " 

Miss Hewlett, a Medical Missionary of the C.E.Z.M.S., has 
emphatically dismissed for ever the thought that the pardah 
system betokens morality. 

" The false religions of the land have dragged down woman 
from the place God intended her to hold. From her earliest 
years she is a stranger to what is refining and pure ; she is 
conversant with all the reverse. Shall we then wonder that 
secluded Zenana homes, open to every evil influence, but 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 51 

impenetrated by the Spirit of God, are often dens of iniquity ? 
We who have been intimately acquainted with the pardah 
system can most emphatically deny that it has any other than 
a demoralising effect upon its millions of prisoners. The idea 
that because a woman is kept in seclusion she is more modest 
or womanly is a sentiment without foundation in fact ; as fre- 
quently where pardah is most strictly observed, the greatest 
impropriety prevails behind the scenes." 

But there is even worse to tell. We cannot forbear quoting 
Mrs. Isabella Bishop's {nee Bird) testimony on this point. In 
her soul-stirring address at Exeter Hall on November 1, 1893, 
she said : 

" I have lived in Zenanas, and have seen the daily life of 
the secluded women, and I can speak from bitter experience 
of what their lives are — the intellect dwarfed, so that a woman 
of twenty or thirty years of age is more like a child of eight, 
intellectually; while all the worst passions of human nature 
are stimulated and developed in a fearful degree : jealousy, 
envy, murderous hate, intrigue, running to such an extent that 
in some countries I have hardly ever been in a woman's house 
without being asked for drugs with which to disfigure the 
favourite wife, or to take away the life of the favourite wife's 
infant son. This request has been made of me nearly one 
hundred times. This is only an indication of the daily life of 
whose miseries we think so little, and which is a natural pro- 
duct of the systems that we ought to have subverted long 
ago." 

An incident illustrative of the above is given by the Rev. 
H. E. Perkins, late I.C.S. in the Punjab. When he was a 
magistrate, one day there appeared at his bar a woman and 
her husband, the chief witness against them being their own 
daughter-in-law. They were Muhammadans, and under the 
Muhammadan law widows can re-marry. This young woman 
had been married to the son of the old couple ; he had died, 



52 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

and she remained as the family drudge. At last growing tired 
of this position, she had expressed a desire to marry again. 
The mother-in-law resolved to prevent her. Amongst these 
people it is customary for the women to paint their eyelids, 
and when the family was assembled at night, the mother-in- 
law dipped a little iron rod in antimony, blackened her own 
lids, and then handed it to her husband. He returned it to 
her, and she then dipped it into the poisonous juice of a sort 
of prickly pear which she had obtained on purpose, and 
handed it to her daughter-in-law. The girl innocently applied 
it to her eyes. She soon cried out with agony, and after some 
days of fearful suffering, the sight of both eyes was hopelessly 
gone. " I shall never lose," says Mr. Perkins, " the remem- 
brance of that sightless face, full of a passionate desire for 
revenge." 

The mother, the oldest woman, is queen of the son's house- 
hold. She wields immense power, and is generally obeyed as 
the head of the family by her sons and by her daughters-in- 
law. As a native writer says : " In battles between wisdom 
and prejudice, between knowledge and ignorance, the Hindu 
grandmother often proves successful, and so tenacious is she, 
that she can be conquered only by death." One of the 
greatest commandments of the Hindu Scriptures is : " Let thy 
mother be to thee like unto a god." 

Thus, strange as it may seem, the down-trodden, imprisoned 
woman of India is, after all, the real ruler of India. Ever the 
most devout upholder of Hinduism, she instils into the minds 
of her children, from infancy, reverence for the idols and faith 
in ten thousand superstitions. She maintains a watchful care 
over husband, brother, son, so as to keep them stedfast to the 
orthodox creed. The family pujas and all the religious cere- 
monial are mainly under her control. And whilst the woman 
of India continues to teach her infant to worship a god more 
evil than the worst of men, and ministers to its dawning in* 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 53 

tellect a succession of "sacred stories" outri vailing each other 
in loathsome details, so long will the men of India remain in 
the fetters of superstition or infidelity. A high native official 
remarked not long ago to a missionary: "While I am with 
you I am free, but as soon as I enter my own portals I am not 
my own. Mother, wife, and daughter are all against me." 

Enough has been shown us to demonstrate that life in an 
Indian Zenana is devoid of everything that constitutes the 
" sweetness and light " of an English home. When we 
know, moreover, that Manu has taught the woman of India 
that she is " unworthy of confidence and the slave of passion, 
a great whirlpool of suspicion, a dwelling-place of vices, full of 
deceits, a hindrance in the way of heaven, the gate of hell," 
can we not understand something of the awful depths of degra- 
dation to which our Hindu sisters are subjected ? Do not our 
hearts yearn over them with infinite pity ? 

But we have darker woes to paint. Why should a cul- 
tivated Hindu thus lament, "An impenetrable darkness and 
chaos still broods over the greater part of India. See in 
what a life of drudgery and misery our mothers, our wives, 
and our daughters live " ? Why should a Hindu woman her- 
self wail, " We are prisoners from our birth, and life-long 
sufferers " ? 

For answer, let us penetrate further still behind the pardah. 




54 



CHAPTER III 

Indian Girlhood : Its Ways and Woes 

"A Missionary heard screams issuing from a house in Krishnagar. 
She asked a man standing at the door what was the matter. It was only 
a little ' Bow' (wife) lately arrived in the Zenana. She asked permission 
to enter, and was shown into the women's apartments. In the dim 
light she could just discern a small heap in the corner, and plaintive 
moans told her that it was some one living. She drew near and spoke, 
and a woe-begone face appeared. ' What made you scream ? ' the 
lady asked, ' They beat me,' the child replied, and she drew up her 
sari and disclosed wales which showed that she had had ample excuse. 
1 Why did they beat you ? ' ' Because I cried for my mother. ' And 
the face puckered afresh with the recollection of lost love and care." 

—D. L. Woolmer. 



RETTY and winsome though she 
may be, an Indian baby-girl re- 
ceives as cold a welcome as her 
Chinese infant sister. Absolutely 
unwanted by either father or mo- 
ther, in numberless cases the frail 
little life is allowed to pass away, 
and the parents thus easily set 
themselves free from the burden 
of expense inseparable from the 
gift of a daughter. 

The shadow of a double curse is projected over a Hindu 
woman's life from its first moment to its close. A girl-child's 
birth is accounted for by the idea of a double sin and dis- 
grace. The child's father is receiving the fate of some ill done 

55 




56 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

in a previous birth, or the gods would have given him a son. 
A son is the most coveted of all blessings that a Hindu craves, 
for it is by a son's birth in the family that the father is re- 
deemed from hell : and if a child of Brahmans, " he redeems 
from sin" (if he perform successfully the funeral rites and 
other virtuous acts) " ten ancestors, ten descendants, and him- 
self the hventy-ftrst person." On the other hand, the Hindu 
sees in a daughter a bitter wellspring of anxiety and expense. 

Religion enjoins that every girl must be given in marriage ; 
the neglect of this duty means for the father unpardonable 
sin. The girl must be married within a fixed period, and the 
caste of the future husband must be the same : while the 
marriage ceremony is most expensive. To provide a husband 
will necessitate the expenditure of the savings of years, or 
debts will be contracted which will take years to pay off. 
Generally, if there are more than two girls, the father's ruin is 
inevitable. For the bread-winner of the Hindu household not 
only has to feed his own wife and children, but also his 
parents, his brothers unable to work, their families, and the 
nearest widowed relatives, besides meeting the often exorbitant 
claims of family priests and religious beggars. 

In a home shadowed by adherence to cruel custom and 
prejudice, a child is born into the world. The poor mother is 
greatly distressed to learn that the little one is a daughter, 
and the neighbours turn their noses in all directions to mani- 
fest their disgust and indignation. Among the Rajputs, if a 
boy is born, his birth is announced with music, glad songs, 
and by distributing sweetmeats. If a daughter, the father 
coolly announces that "nothing" has been born into his 
family, and the friends, after offering condolence, go home 
grave and quiet. 

A lady-traveller x says : 

"An Indian girl comes into the world amid a cloud of 
1 Miss Billington, Woman in India, 1S96. 



INDIAN GIRLHOOD: ITS WAYS AND WOES 57 

strange superstitions. For weeks before, the mother and 
mother-in-law have toilsomely observed every mystic ordinance 
which should propitiate the gods to bestow a son. They 
have wreathed flowers at every auspicious shrine ; they have 
lit lamps and burned spices ; and when, after all, a tiny girl 
has come into the gloom and stifling atmosphere of the 
Zenana, it is taken as a token that the gods are angry, and 
that the poor young mother has incurred their majestic wrath. 
The air is considered to be thick with omens. A fire must be 
burnt incessantly in order to exclude the evil spirits which 
might exercise a baneful influence upon the child's future. 
Whenever the baby cries, more fuel must be put on the fire, 
until the degree of heat attained renders existence well-nigh 
unendurable. 

"The disappointment and chagrin are somewhat modified if 
the infant girl's ears first hear pleasant sounds : if its eyes rest 
upon such objects as rice, flowers, fruits or honey. But its 
whole career, it is believed, will prove unlucky should a snake 
or a monkey cross the road, or a vehicle go by carrying a cot 
or a stool with the legs upwards ! " 

If the father wishes to defend himself from caste tyranny, 
he kills the extra girls at birth. Infanticide, though pro- 
hibited by both Government and religion, is still followed in 
secret to an alarming extent. 

If a girl is born after her brother's death, or if soon after 
her birth a boy in the family dies, she is, in either case, re- 
garded by her parents as the cause of the boy's death. She 
is then constantly called by some unpleasant name, slighted, 
beaten, cursed, persecuted, and despised by all. Her father 
or mother will actually exclaim against the innocent child in 
such words as these : " Wretched girl, why didst thou not die 
instead of our darling boy ? Why didst thou crowd him out 
of the house by coming to us? It would have been good for 
all of us if thou hadst died and thy brother lived ! " 



58 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



However, in many instances, after the birth of one or more 
sons in a Hindu household, girls are not unwelcome, and 
sometimes mothers often long to have a daughter, and both 
parents lavish love and tenderness upon her. For though 
natural affection may be blunted and crushed by cruel custom, 
it is not dead. 

the legs of a stool do not feel cold," is a 
Hence babies are considered sufficiently 



"Children and 
Bengali proverb. 



protected by a string 
of beads round the 
waist, gold earrings 
and bracelets, and 
probably silver ank- 
lets. These consti- 
tute a full costume ! 
The baby's bath is of 
oil once a week. In 
an English home to 
take the baby and 
play with it would be 
a sure way of winning 
the mother's confi- 
dence. But in India 
the missionary visitor 
is frustrated in this 
simple device. What 
stranger would venture the risky task of tossing a baby who, 
instead of wearing clothes, is well greased from head to foot ! 

The girls begin to wear clothing earlier than the boys, and 
their first garment is usually a comically shapeless sacque ot 
coloured print. They are put while very young to simple house- 
hold duties, and among the village folk the merest children 
may be seen cleaning rice and pounding corn with astonishing 
dexterity. But, on the whole, everywhere throughout India 




POUNDING THE CORN WITH ASTONISHING 
DEXTERITY." 



INDIAN GIRLHOOD : ITS WAYS AND WOES 59 

childhood is the hey-day of a Hindu woman's life. Free to 
go in and out as she pleases, her days are spent in complete 
and often joyous liberty. Yet even from babyhood the Indian 
girl is trained to understand caste principles. As the child of a 
Brahman or Rajput, she is never allowed to drink water touched 
by a Chamar, one of the lowest caste. A tiny girl of only three 
years old has been known to scream because her missionary- 
teacher, whom nevertheless she dearly loved, has taken her 
in her arms while she was eating. As to their unfettered 
freedom until ten years of age, it is of a kind that no English 
girl would be allowed, and is often fraught with evil conse- 
quences. " Let them have their liberty, — it will not be for 
long," is the common excuse. 

Whilst the boys are early sent to school, and at the age of 
seven or eight are initiated into the Hindu religious system by 
the 'guru,' i.e. teacher, appointed for them by their father, the 
Hindu girl's whole religious training has to do with certain 
ceremonies performed with the simple object of obtaining a 
husband, and that he may live long. When it is remembered 
that these religious rites are first performed when the girl is 
but five years old, it will be evident that children must be 
taught a great deal that it would be far better for them not to 
know at so tender an age. 

Indian girls have a few games peculiar to themselves, and 
very pretty and graceful some of them are. Except in form, 
the contents of a ' bibi ghar ' nursery are not so very widely 
removed from our own. The 'jhelna,' or swing, with seat 
like a small cot, is invariably to be found there. The doll, 
however, is the delight of all others of a little Indian girl's life. 1 

But suddenly the ban of marriage is pronounced, and a yoke 
is put upon the innocent child's neck for ever. 

1 Twelve thousand dolls are required annually as prizes in the 
schools and Zenanas taught by C.E.Z.M.S. ladies. Nankeen dolls with 
black hair in gay English costumes are most coveted and prized. 



6o BEHIND THE PARDAH 

The early marriage system is at least five hundred years 
older than the Christian era, and may be traced to the same 
origin as that of pardah. Although no law has ever said so, 
the popular belief is that a woman can have no salvation 
unless she be formally married. According to Manu, eight 
years is the minimum, and twelve years of age the maximum, 
marriageable age for a high-caste girl. The earlier the act of 
giving the daughter in marriage, the greater is the merit, for 
thereby the parents are entitled to rich rewards in heaven. A 
great many girls are given in marriage at the present day liter- 
ally while they are still in their cradles. From five to eleven 
years is the usual period for their marriage among the 
Brahmans all over India ; and, as they must be married 
within their own caste, it very frequently happens that girls of 
eight or nine are given to men sixty or seventy years old. 

" It must be borne in mind," says Pandita Ramabai, " that 
both in Northern and Southern India (except in Bengal) the 
term ' marriage ' does not mean anything more than an irre- 
vocable betrothal. The ceremony gone through at that time 
establishes religiously the conjugal relationship ; there is a 
second ceremony that confirms the rite both religiously and 
socially, which does not take place till some few years later. 
In the north of India the little bride is not forced to go to 
her husband's home until she is about thirteen or fourteen 
years of age. 

In Bengal the marriage takes place when the child is just 
emerging from babyhood. 1 From her earliest moments she 

1 In Behar, for the Khatbe caste, as many as 47*3 per cent, of very 
young girls under ten years of age are married, and their average age of 
marriage is five years and three months. Between ten and fifteen years 
of age, 90 per cent, of the girls are married, and their average age of 
marriage is ten years and six months. As all women are married at fifteen 
years of age, it results that the average age of marriage is the mean of the 
two preceding, or seven years and ten months.—;/. A. Bourdilloii, Esq. 
Bengal C. I. 



INDIAN GIRLHOOD : ITS WAYS AND WOES 61 

has been taught to look forward to this event as the aim and 
object of her life. The gorgeous dresses to be worn, the music, 
songs, fireworks, feasts, and elephant rides, the brilliant illum- 
ination of the house, sweet things to eat and to give away, 
amid all sorts of fun, what could be more tempting than all 
these to a child's mind ? What wonder that the little Hindu 
maid is eager to be married, little knowing the future before 
her! 

As girls in their infancy cannot be allowed to choose their 
future husbands, this is done for them. In the Northern part 
of the country the family barber is generally employed to 
select boys and girls to be married, it being considered too 
humiliating an act on the part of parents to seek out their 
future daughters and sons-in-law. 

The marriage negotiations are opened thus : 

The father of the bride sends a barber and a Brahman 
to look out for a suitable husband. When they return and 
furnish a favourable report, the father goes to the house 
of the bridegroom and performs the ceremony known as 
'baraksha,' i.e., the seeing of the bridegroom. In the case of 
approval, he presents him with a ' muhr,' i.e., a gold coin, worth 
Rs. 1 6 ; then a date is fixed for ' tilak,' 1 and after that the day 
is named for marriage. In other parts of the country it is 
always the mother of the bridegroom who opens the negotia- 
tions. A public announcement is sufficient to constitute an 
engagement ; but the betrothal is irrevocable. 2 Between the 
young people themselves at this juncture no ceremony takes 
place. 

1 Tilak is a mark which Hindus make on their foreheads with coloured 
earths. 

2 That betrothal is considered irrevocable by Muhammadans also is 
proved by the following remark made by a Moslem woman to a C.E.Z.M.S. 
missionary. "We cannot break the Betrothal tie, it is very sacred with us. 
The Marriage tie is easily broken> but it is very wrong to break that of 
Betrothal. " 



62 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

The marriage is concluded without the consent of either 
party, but the bride is not allowed to be acquainted with her 
husband until after the second ceremony, and even then the 
young couple must never betray any sign of mutual attachment 
before a third party. Naturally, they thus remain almost 
strangers to one another, and if, as very often takes place, 
the mother-in-law encourages her son to torment his wife 
in various ways, they begin to hate each other. " A child of 
thirteen was cruelly beaten by her husband in my presence," 
says Pandita Ramabai, " for telling the simple truth, that she 
did not like so well to be in his house as at her own home." 

Hindu wedding ceremonies are a great deal more compli- 
cated than Muhammadan, and involve endless religious rites. 

Just before the bridegroom sets out from home to fetch his 
bride, he stands on a ' takta,' or board facing the east, and 
is asked three times by his mother, "Where are you going ? " 
Each time he answers, " Mother, I am going to bring you a 
servant." 

At the wedding ceremony itself, after the priest has tied the 
hands of the bride and bridegroom together and fastened her 
' sari ' and his ' dhuti ' together, the bride is lifted on a 
board by her female relatives and friends. A magenta silk 
sari is thrown as a canopy over both. Small oil lamps are 
held aloft so as to throw only a subdued light upon the 
scene, and then the critical moment arrives when the two 
who have been bound together for life see one another. 
Their eyes meet for the first time, and they take a liking or 
disliking the one to the other. The most serious thing is if 
the bridegroom should take a dislike to the bride. The 
anxious mother peers through the silk sari to watch the 
expression of her son-in-law as he sees her daughter for the 
first time. If the mother be a widow, and not allowed to 
show her face during the ceremony, she enquires eagerly of 
those who have been present, " Does he like her ? " 



INDIAN GIRLHOOD : ITS WAYS AND WOES 63 

One of the duties of the priest during the ceremony is to 
repeat from memory the pedigrees of the family. At the 
wedding of high- caste, well-to-do people, two priests are 
present to officiate, one for the bride and the other for the 
bridegroom's family. 

During the marriage ceremony invocations are made to 
each god worshipped by the family : to the seven famous 
penitent sages ; to the five incorruptible virgins ; to the 
ancestor gods ; to the eight cardinal points of the compass ; 
to the fourteen worlds ; to the year, month, day, and minute, 
each under their special names. 

Two bambu baskets are placed close together. The bride- 
groom stands upright in one, the bride in the other. He pours 
upon her head the contents of a small basket of ground rice. 
She does the same to him. 

At one stage of the ceremony the bride and bridegroom for 
the first and last time eat together and from the same platter. 
Pictures of some of the gods are drawn with flour and red 
paint on the floor and worshipped. Flour is sprinkled on a 
stone and some mystic lines drawn across it, which the bride 
must rub out with her foot. All the time a priest is reading, 
or rather chanting, from their sacred books. Some rupees are 
offered to him in a basin of water, and the bridegroom and 
his bride sprinkle each other with water ; for every detail of 
the ceremony must be performed in the presence of the three 
witnesses — fire, water, and earth. 

Part of the programme is that the girls present should sing 
and make mocking remarks upon the bridegroom's relatives, 
such as, " Your father is an owl ! Your mother is an owl ! " 
at the same time throwing shoes, etc., at them, or adminis- 
tering a shower of stripes on their backs from little switches to 
which long silken tassels have been tied, and inflicting all 
small torments possible, which must be accepted good- 
humouredly. When the bride goes to her husband's home, 



64 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

it will be the turn of his friends to treat her relatives thus. 

The father takes the hand of his daughter and puts it into 
that of the youth, pouring water over them in honour of 
Vishnu. This is the " giving-away " of the bride. A saffron- 
coloured thread necklace is fastened on the girl's neck by the 
bridegroom, but the equivalent of the English wedding ring 
is an iron ■ bala,' or bracelet, which the wife thenceforth wears. 
Even a widow does not discard this wedding token, for she 
looks upon herself as always the wife of her husband, and, 
according to Manu's laws, the widow is never allowed to 
mention the name of any other man. 1 

The vermillion mark upon the parting of the girl's hair — 
an outward and visible sign of marriage throughout India — 
is made by the bridegroom with his own hand, but the 
concluding and most binding part of the whole complicated 
ceremony is this : the bridegroom's relatives having cast 
upon the sacred fire, which has been kept burning, offerings 
of incense, grain and clarified butter, the bride and the bride- 
groom, hand in hand, the corners of their chaddars tied to- 
gether, walk three times round the blazing " sacrifice." Fire, 
in Hindu eyes, is the most pure of deities, and a mutual engage- 
ment transacted over this element is the most solemn of oaths. 

We have endeavoured to give some idea of the more typical 
and important rites connected with Hindu marriage cere- 
monial, rather than an account of the proceedings in con- 
secutive order. These vary according to the weather, the posi- 
tion and religious feeling of the family, and the locality where 
a wedding takes place. 

A glimpse of a Moslem bride is given us by an eye-witness. 

"Last night we went with a missionary lady friend to a 
Muhammadan wedding. We left home about 9 o'clock in the 
evening. On nearing the house we were met by a boy, who 

1 Neither a wife nor widow is allowed to mention the name of her hus* 
band. If she meets with it when reading aloud she must leave it out i 



INDIAN GIRLHOOD : ITS WAYS AND WOES 65 

showed us the way up a staircase to the roof of the house, 
where the women were assembled adorning the bride. The 
poor little bride was seated on the floor with her back to us, 
and dared not look up at us or anybody ! Several women 
sitting round her were dividing her hair into innumerable 
little plaits, some of which were intertwined with gold lace. 
All the while the women were chattering vociferously, ex- 
pressing their opinions very freely with regard to the shabbi- 
ness of the bridegroom, who had sent too little food for the 
feast. About 150 had to be fed, and he had sent enough 
for only twenty or thirty. A pretty state of things, etc. 

" The poor little bride sat looking the picture of misery ; 
but it is thought very improper for a bride to look happy. 
For four days this poor girl had been kept sitting in a corner 
without food, and during the night she became so faint and 
exhausted, that at our urgent entreaty they gave her some 
light nourishment to keep up her strength. 

" Then the bride's dress was handed round to be admired. 
The custom is that the bridegroom presents the bride with 
a complete trousseau of all the richest and costliest materials 
available, while she provides an equally beautiful outfit for 
the husband-elect to wear. In this case the bridegroom was 
not considered to have acted handsomely, as the red silk 
' pyjamas,' i.e., trousers, were quite short, and cost only ^30. 
The ' kurta,' £*,, jacket, was also of red silk with gold brocade, 
and the chaddar had gold spangles all over it. 

"By midnight the bride's hair was plaited, her face powdered 
and stuck over with bits of tinsel, her jewels arranged and 
dress put on — but no sign of the bridegroom yet ! And no 
one knew when he would come, 'whether at evening, or at 
cock-crowing, or in the morning,' and ' while the bridegroom 
tarried they all slumbered and slept ' ; just as they were, they 
stretched themselves out, and went to sleep on the floor. 

"About 3 o'clock in the morning we heard the welcome 

F 



66 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

sound of the ' tom-toms,' i.e., drums, accompanying the 
bridegroom's procession, but they went off in the distance 
again, having to march all round the city. At half-past three 
a.m. they arrived in front of the house, the bridegroom on a 
gallant charger accompanied by a long procession of dancing 
girls, torch-bearers, etc. Fireworks were let off, and then the 
whole party went into a large house opposite and we were left 
still waiting for the bridegroom. 

" Two parties of hired musicians regale us through the night 
with their sweet (?) sounds, and now begin to vie with each 
other in dancing. Morning dawns, and at last we hear of 
some one coming. A long sheet is held up to protect the 
ladies from view, and four imposing-looking men in white 
garments appear on the scene. They ask if the bride is 
willing, but the bride makes no sound, so her mother speaks 
for her, and they disappear. 

"But what is the bridegroom doing all this time? They say 
that the 'maulvi,' i.e., priest, is reading to him out of the 
Koran : and he is bargaining with the relatives, for the actual 
1 Nikah,' or marriage, with the Muhammadans takes more of a 
legal than a religious form, and is a transaction between the 
male relatives and lawyers. 

" At last, after seven o'clock in the morning, a whisper went 
round the circle, ' The bridegroom comes ! ' Some of the 
younger women immediately disappeared j others drew their 
chaddars over their faces, and the older ones followed the 
mother to the head of the staircase, where she went to meet 
him. 

" He was a curious sight. Long garlands of jasmine, finished 
off with roses, streamed from his head, and he was altogether 
so profusely and grotesquely ornamented with flowers as to 
remind one more of a Jack-in-the-green on May-day than any- 
thing else. As he reached the top of the stairs, he bent down 
and ate some sugar and rice out of the hands of his mother-in- 



INDIAN GIRLHOOD : ITS WAYS AND WOES 67 

law, and then, followed by his sister, was led into a large room 
where a grand carpet had been spread for him. 

" A pestle and mortar was then placed in front of him, and 
the right hand being bound, he had to pound the spices to the 
satisfaction of the bystanders, who, of course, chaffed him well 
for his clumsy attempts. This, they say, is a test of what kind 
of manager he will be in his household. 

"The motherthen disappeared, and in a few minutes returned 
carrying in her arms an apparently helpless, inanimate being — 
the bride, — so entirely enveloped in her red garments that no 
part of her was visible. She was set down by her husband, 
whom up to that moment she had never seen. 

" An old woman, who acted as priestess, put into each of their 
hands a looking-glass, in which, after a cloth had been thrown 
over them both, they were to behold one another's faces for 
the first time. Part of the programme now is that the bride 
is obstinate and will not look, though the bridegroom tries 
to open her eyelids, and her friends are entreating her not 
to shut her eyes ! While they remained concealed in this 
fashion, the old lady repeated over them various passages from 
the Koran, and then with many congratulations, good wishes, 
prophecies and exclamations, and a shower of sweetmeats 
flung over them, the veil was lifted. The little bride was led 
away to be attired in her glittering wedding garments, and then, 
in survival of old ideas of marriage by capture, the bridegroom 
lifted her into the ' duli ' in which she was to be taken to his 
house." 

As with Hindu, so with Muhammadan wedding customs, 
there is great variety in the manner in which they are carried 
out. In South India, for example, the bride, enveloped in 
red muslin, is carried by her male relatives to a large wooden 
cot or bedstead, placed in the courtyard (roofed in for the 
occasion), on which she is set down opposite the bridegroom* 
and continues moaning and wailing throughout the ceremony. 



68 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

A hired professional singing woman guides the bride's hand 
in throwing sugar-candy and flower petals over the bridegroom 
from behind a barrier of red muslin held between them. 
Presently the bride, guided by the singer, holds a piece of 
sugar-candy to his mouth, and after a little hesitation he bends 
his head and takes it with his lips; he then returns the 
compliment by touching the heap of red muslin before him 
with more of the same sweetmeat. 

When their eyes meet for the first time (upside down !) in the 
looking-glass, the singer asks if the girl has a nice jewel in 
her nose. He answers that she has. If, however, he should 
reply in the negative (a very rare occurrence), the marriage 
would not be completed. 

Two uncles, maternal and paternal, of the bride, join the 
hands of the wedded couple, and when the bride has no father, 
give her into the bridegroom's charge. 

The child-bride does not enter her husband's house to be 
the head of a new home, but rather comes into her father-in- 
law's household to take the lowest and humblest position in 
the family. Breaking the girl's spirit is the first discipline she 
undergoes. She must never talk or laugh loudly, must never 
speak before or to the father and elder brother-in-law, or any 
other distant male relatives of her husband unless commanded 
to do so. In North India, the young wife covers her face with 
her veil, or runs into another room to show respect, should 
the men of the household enter an apartment where she 
happens to be. In Southern India, where veils are not worn, 
the women rise and remain standing as long as they are 
obliged to be in the presence of their husbands. 

The mothers-in-law employ their daughters in all kinds of 
domestic duties. These children of nine or ten years of age 
find it irksome to work hard all day long without the hope 
of hearing a word of praise, and probably, for some slight, un- 
intentional fault, receiving a torrent of abuse. Some of the 



INDIAN GIRLHOOD: ITS WAYS AND WOES 69 

older women are kind and affectionate to their daughters-in- 
law, but the majority, having themselves been the victims of 
merciless treatment in their childhood, become hard-hearted, 
and are ready to beat and slander the young girls on the 
slightest provocation. 

And thus the Indian girl passes out of childhood into 
womanhood. The young bride, dazzled by the garish light of 
her wedding ' tamasha,' is thrust into a fresh labyrinth of dark 
passages, murky yards and musty closets of her husband's 
home, amidst a crowd of mothers-in-law, stern aunts, child- 
mothers and widowed girls, — the hidden inmates of an Indian 
Zenana. But, whether we glance at Hindu or Muhammadan 
girlhood, we see that the woes of India's child-women deepen 
from the first faint wail of an unwelcome infant girl to the last 
stifled moan of an outcast widow. 

" I shall never forget," says one who witnessed it, " the 
sorrowful look on the face of a Hindu gentleman, who, com- 
menting on the happy expression of a young English wife, said : 
" How different from the sad spectacle I witnessed last night 
at the wedding of my little cousin Shorot-Kumari. She, poor 
child, is about nine years old ; her husband is a drunken old 
man of sixty! The poor little one sat in the midst of the 
company, the picture of abject misery. She never raised 
her eyes, and the tears rolled down her cheeks the whole 
time. She is sold to that wicked old man, and what can she 
look for, poor little one, but a life of sorrow, both as wife and 
widow ! " 



CHAPTER IV 



First Experiences 



11 The tender light of home behind, 
Dark heathen gloom before, 
The servants of the Lord go forth 
To seek the foreign shore : 

For Christ has called, and His dear word 

Brings bliss, whate'er betide ; 
Tis not alone — 'tis with their Lord 

They seek the other side." 

— S. Geraldina Stock. 

HE first voyage out is often one 
of the most abiding and the most 
sacred of missionary reminis- 
cences. 

Sometimes interest in the out- 
ward-bound ship has been deep- 
ened when news reached us that 
a storm had broken on the Chan- 
nel or the Bay. Yet our God has 
ever canopied the heads of His weak women messengers, and 
while preserving them has also garrisoned their hearts with His 
peace. In spite of " heaviest sea ever experienced" the Rewa 
reached Calcutta in safety in 1887 with eight C.E.Z.M.S. mis- 
sionaries on board. An extract from a private letter giving 
an account of that memorable voyage is worth quoting. 

" The vessel was so completely overmastered by the gale 
that, at one time, there seemed every prospect of her going 

70 




FIRST EXPERIENCES 71 

down. The waves dashed five times through the cabins and 
over the captain's bridge, the engines were jammed together 
and ceased to work. Ten of the crew were injured, and the 
scene on board was terrible — every one ill, and many in 
hysterics or fainting. There were, however, fifteen missionary 
ladies in the ship, and their calmness and cheerfulness through- 
out, bore strong testimony to the power of their religion. Some 
of them seemed to be kept in perfect peace in the midst of the 
fearful turmoil around and within the ship." 

Seldom indeed, thank God, have our voyaging sisters to 
relate such experiences. The time on board is usually calm 
enough to enjoy daily Bible readings, special consecration 
meetings, impromptu missionary addresses, in which passengers 
and crew have united ; whilst, with intervals for amusement 
and recreation, the foreign languages are attacked in advance, 
and the deck has been transformed for the time being into 
a floating college, where lessons in Hindustani, Bengali, or 
Tamil are vigorously given and imbibed. Last autumn Miss 
Potter, bound for Bangalore, told of " a most enjoyable time " 
on board the Chusan. " We were such a happy, united party, 
and experienced very little rough weather. Miss S. Mulvany was 
very good in teaching us Hindustani, and Miss Pantin had a 
large class for Bengali. What I learnt on board has been such 
a help to me that I have been able to begin the ' Kitab-i-Satis ' 
at once with my ' Munshi.' " 

" It is the first step that costs," say the French. Certainly it 
costs some heartache to be dumb for many months in view of 
the work and its needs realised as never before. But the first 
step of the newly arrived " Mission Miss Sahiba " is into the 
intricacies of Indian grammar, and a maze indeed lies before 
her! 

The number of languages in India has been variously esti- 
mated. The C.M.S. Atlas puts the number at 106. But 
bearing in mind that many of the Indian tongues can only be 



72 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

reckoned as dialects, it is difficult to state with any accuracy 
the number of languages properly so called in the Indian 
territories. 

Frequently, in studying one of the languages connected with 
the Sanscrit, one comes across roots that are familiar in some 
Western tongue. For instance, d/iri, to draw, Latin trahere. 
Many of the numerals are easily identified : dm\ two ; sastam, 
sixth j sapfam, seventh. So that among many strange words 
the learner is often refreshed by meeting with old friends, 
though, it must be confessed, with new faces. One finds in 
the chief Indian languages numerous fossil remains deposited 
by successive invaders of the land. The Portuguese have left 
not a few such tokens of their presence; and, of course, 
English words are being gradually assimilated. Your Bengali 
' baburji,' or cook, will suggest that he can make out of cold 
meat, ' kono saidish ' — some corner side-dish or other. 

One of the peculiarities of Punjabi is to import Urdu words 
and turn them upside down. For instance, kdchu instead of 
chdku for penknife. Then, again, the same word has a different 
sense : " to rot " in Urdu means " to burn " in Punjabi. In 
both languages there are hard and soft ds and ts and rs, be- 
tween which one must carefully distinguish. One might call 
a blind man " andha," an egg, by pronouncing the d hard on 
the palate instead of soft on the teeth. In Punjabi there are 
four ns ; one simple, one nasal, another with the sound of r 
in it, and the fourth with the sound oiy. 

" The children in a village school," says Miss Tuting, " were 
much perplexed when I told them one day that the Israelites 
in the wilderness sighed for the ' worms ' they ate in Egypt. 
I meant ' cucumbers,' but made the r hard instead of soft, and 
did not aspirate the k with which the word begins. The 
aspirated letters again are a difficulty in Punjabi. One day I 
was having a lesson from a friend in pronouncing bh, and the 
only time when she considered me successful was when I 



FIRST EXPERIENCES 73 

seized my own neck, and nearly throttled myself; for this 
class of letters can only be sounded by a peculiar com- 
pression of the lower muscles of the throat ! " 

But for the sake of telling "The Old, Old Story" our 
missionaries feel it is surely worth while to undergo all the 
labour— and it is not a little — of learning even the hardest of 
the languages of India. 

" I hope that friends at home remember to pray for those of 
us who are studying the language!" pathetically exclaims one of 
our not least gifted young missionaries. Truly it would seem 
that a Pentecostal gift of tongues were needed before an Indian 
worker is fully equipped. In the Punjabi cities, for instance, 
amongst Kashmiris, Pathans, Bengalis, Hindustanis, and Sikhs, 
it is absolutely necessary to know Urdu and Punjabi thoroughly, 
to be acquainted with some Persian and Hindi, and, if possible, 
to gain some knowledge of Arabic and Sanscrit, so that in- 
fluence may be acquired over Muhammadans and Hindus 
respectively. In the same Zenana two languages may be re- 
quired. 

On itinerating tours, when groups of village people of both 
religions have to be addressed, the linguistic powers of the 
missionary are not a little taxed as she varies her expressions 
of the same theme in Sanscrit and Arabic alternately. In one 
short sentence, such as, " Sin is hateful to God," her Muham- 
madan listeners (who usually squat together in a little group 
at some slight distance from their Hindu neighbours) will not 
understand the two Sanscrit words sin and God unless the 
Miss Sahiba is careful to articulate also the Arabic terms for 
their benefit. Hence a very mongrel dialect must be acquired, 
and the difficult art of being one's own interpreter by the 
way. 

Yet one of our young missionary sisters is ready to own 
that even the language difficulty is not an unmitigated evil. 
"What a number of mistakes I should have made had the 



74 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

language been no barrier to a ' freshman's ' activity ! " she 
exclaims ingenuously. 

Most of the Indian dialects have two widely different forms — 
the cultivated and the vulgar tongue. And sometimes even 
the women's talk differs more or less from both of these. So 
that the lady missionary may not be content with the language 
she learns from books, and in which, of course, her Testa- 
ment is written. She must learn also the "jungly" tongue, 
with its shortened forms of speech. In England we say " I 
won't," but write " I will not." In India the difference be- 
tween the spoken and printed language is carried to a much 
greater extent, and forms at first a serious difficulty for the 
learner who wishes to be " understanded of the people." 

Yet in spite of such real hindrances heart will reach heart. 
" How does the Miss Sahiba remember our names ? " said one 
child to another as they came out of school one day. " I 
suppose she loves us, and that is how," replied the little girl. 
And Hindu women are touched by the earnestness of one 
whose soul is on fire for God, though her lips may stammer. 
And so, whilst the burden of each missionary's request for 
prayer may be " for me that utterance may be given me," she 
realises that it will not be by eloquence, but by the Gospel 
spoken, " with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven," that 
the hearts of her Indian sisters will be stirred and won. 

Requests for prayer have often come from India for the 
men who have taught our missionaries the language. Quite 
recently the Misses Boileau and Bristow sent home the glad 
news that, at Krishnagar, their Pandit had been baptised in 
spite of forcible opposition. " For years he has been half 
convinced of the truth of Christianity, but lately the Spirit has 
been striving mightily with him. He has found joy and peace 
in believing, and at once made up his mind to confess Christ 
openly. It was arranged for husband, wife, and child to be 
baptised together, but on the day before, some of the wife's 



FIRST EXPERIENCES 75 

friends came, and, after trying all night to persuade him to 
give it up, eventually carried off his wife and child, and 
dragged him to the river to bathe, whence, by some means or 
other, he escaped, and fled to the Rev. A. Le Feuvre (C.M.S. 
missionary). Although his wife could not be traced that day, 
he was not deterred from his purpose, and, in presence of a 
large congregation of Christians and Hindus, the Pandit was 
baptised on Sunday afternoon. His face, answers, and whole 
bearing spoke volumes. There were actually present some of 
the very Brahmans who had been urging the Pandit not to be 
baptised, but they sat in church as quietly as possible, closely 
following the service, and listening attentively to Mr. Le 
Feuvre's earnest address on St. John i. 1 2. It was a testing 
day to the new convert, but God enabled him to stand. He 
said to us afterwards, ' We could trace God's hand all through 
the day.' Since then he has passed through deep waters, his 
wife having twice been taken from him by her relatives, who 
are swayed by the people of the village. Yet though he says, 
1 1 am the most happy man, and I am the most w/zhappy man,' 
he exhibits an unwavering faith." 

Since itinerating tours are taken in connection with nearly 
all our stations, various modes of travelling are in vogue 
among our missionaries, and they learn to adapt themselves 
to Indian convey- 
ances, such as the 
'ekka,' the ' tonga,' the 
1 bandy,' the ' palan- 
quin,' the 'dooli,' or 
the 'gari,' in a sur- 
prisingly short time. 
Many a night is spent 

, ... . . . "A TONGA. " 

by our itinerating 

sisters in Tinnevelly, rocked — but not always to sleep — in 

a country cart. These vehicles are of the roughest wood, 




76 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



innocent of springs, and protected from the weather by a roof 
and sides of plaited palm-leaf. A thick layer of straw is placed 
on the wooden floor, mattress and pillows are laid upon it, 
and curtains are fastened across the two ends of the cart. It 
is drawn by bullocks (two or three pieces of rope sufficing for 
harness, and the animals' own tails answering the purpose of 
whip and reins !) at the rate of two miles an hour j and when 
the route lies across country destitute of roads, and through 




A BULLOCK CART. 

unbridged rivers and canals, the nights are not very restful. 
The heat is too great to allow of day travelling. 

In Bengal the 'cutcha,' or mud roads, have ruts nearly a 
foot deep, and it is easy to imagine that one's boxes (and 
bones !) get terribly shaken as they are carried along in spring- 
less bullock bandies. As long as your cart keeps in the ruts 
it may be all very well, but when you have to move aside for 
a cart coming in the opposite direction, it is not a very pleasant 
matter ! 



FIRST EXPERIENCES 77 

In the Punjab, travelling experiences in the hot weather are 
often the reverse of enjoyable. On a typical Indian day in the 
spring of 1896 Miss Jansen, of Jandiala, wrote : "Although it 
is only April, a scorching wind is blowing hard, whirling clouds 
of dust before it until the air is quite dark. Down a bare road, 
which seemed almost endless to us, we drove home from our 
work, and, with a great sigh of relief, took refuge in the dark 
little bungalow on the roadside. We carefully shut every door 
and window to keep out the dust and heat, but, in spite of 
this, sand and dust are everywhere, particularly in one's mouth ! 
and we can assure our friends that they are not a palatable 
addition to one's food, any more than are the ants, creeping 
wherever they can. What I imagined to be raspberry jam the 
other day, Miss Parslee assured me was no more than a?it- 
preserve, and so I found it ! " 

Novel and sometimes rather exciting experiences occur, too, 
in missionary housekeeping. Writing from Nyehatti in 1895, 
Miss L. Parsons has a story to tell : 

" Our wee house has been enlarged. Building is a slow 
process out here. The making of one new room on the roof 
was ingeniously lengthened out for five months. At this you 
would not wonder if you saw the manner of proceeding. Two 
persons to work (one a woman !) and one to smoke are in 
attendance from three to four hours daily. They leave in the 
middle of work, and on any special puja day no labourer can 
be found at all. 

" Gradually, however, the building rose ; but when dining- 
room, sitting-room, class-room, and church combined were 
nearly finished, the lower walls showed signs of collapsing. 
In England, we should test the under walls before building 
above, but here our lower walls w r ere tested after the upper 
ones were built ! Some of our friends grew alarmed for our 
safety ; but not so our landlord ! Plaster cracked, disclosing 
bulging bricks* Then something had to be done. So we 



78 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

were banished to our two wee bedrooms for days, with the 
thermometer abnormally high, and no one could complain 
that we were living in too great comfort or luxury, although 
no one could say that we were not happy ! 

" Finally, the long-desired room was finished, and we thought 
how nice it would be to sleep on the roof— cooler, fresher, 
and away from snakes. But the rains began, and oh, how 
swamped we were !— shower-baths gratis, and alas ! not free 
either from the invasion of snakes. For while we went up 
our steep, stone staircase, they quietly crawled up a tree over- 
hanging a corner of the roof, and dropped on to it, meeting 
us at the head of the stairs ! ' Cut down the tree,' you would 
naturally say ; but our landlord would not hear of a tree so 
precious as a mango having its branches cut. However, about 
the end of the snake season, he consented in view of com- 
pensation, and after the rain the roof was patched up ! 
Fortunately, we have nine months before the rainy and snaky 
seasons come again." 

Although several servants must be kept in the Mission- 
house (as one man will attend to only one set of duties), life 
is not any the easier for the missionary housekeeper. Here is 
a sample of what may happen. 

" Alas ! our cook began to show signs of drinking, and 
while under suspicion about this, a watch was stolen; the 
police arrested and marched him off, so we were minus a cook. 
No other servant would touch our food ; and Nyehatti does 
not abound in cooks wanting situations. We had to cook 
breakfast ourselves, and with Indian heat and Indian stoves 
cooking is no very pleasant task. As evening drew on, we 
kept saying to each other, ' What shall we do for dinner ? » 
There was some meat waiting to be cooked, but we could not 
work ourselves up for the exertion ! Then a happy thought 
struck us. * Take the train to Calcutta and beg a dinner from 
one of the Mission-houses.' This we did." 



FIRST EXPERIENCES 79 

Though difficulties and disagreeables are cheerfully and 
even merrily met by those who are ready to spend and be spent 
for the Master Whom they serve, yet there are times when 
enervation and depression overtake the most brave-hearted, 
and on their knees they can only articulate the cry, " Lord, 
hear our praying friends at home." We cannot forbear quot- 
ing the words of Dr. Mary Pauline Root, a young American 
lady medical missionary in South India. 

11 1 do not doubt, — I know, you pray for us, but pray with a 
faith that will not let go unless He bless us. For we live in the 
midst of idolatry, and so subtle are the influences about us that 
we grow deadened to the heinousness of sin. As we go 
through the vast temples and see the black, greasy idols and 
bowing worshippers ; as we look at the fantastic rag-doll, jewel- 
adorned idols carried about the streets ; as I go into the houses 
and see an old woman or dirty priest sitting surrounded by 
many tiny brass jars or lamps, wreaths of flowers, and perhaps 
the blood of a cock sprinkled about — does it seem like 
idolatry ? Yes, and No. At first it seems like a dreadful sin ; 
then repulsive only; and gradually we grow almost indifferent 
to what seems like grown children playing with toys. . . . 
Pray, then, that our hearts may not lose their sensitive- 
ness. . . . Again, we live in the midst of dirt and filth of 
which you know nothing. Our work is in squalid mud or 
plastered homes, and the sights we sometimes see would 
make you turn away with a shudder. We are less proof 
against odours and sights than we once were. Every year the 
sickening, withering heat weighs upon us, and every year these 
things are harder to bear. 

"Think of yourself as the new missionary. You begin the 
study of the language, and it is more than possible that many 
a time you will throw yourself on the bed and cry — yes, you, 
a missionary — cry from sheer weariness and discouragement, 
and perhaps wonder if, after all, you might not have made a 



8o BEHIND THE PARDAH 

mistake, and run before you were sent. After a little while 
you are put in charge of a dozen Bible-women. Every word 
that you teach them or that you carry to the women in heathen 
homes has to be studied patiently and practised with your 
teacher — often a half-educated heathen man, knowing so little 
English that it is almost impossible to make him understand 
any Scriptural truth in English. It is a real trial and a con- 
stant struggle for you to have your Bible studies translated into 
the vernacular. . . . Little things that would not once trouble 
us in cool England, become formidable trials in sultry India. 
And so, I am not ashamed to ask that you will pray for the 
ladies who are housekeepers, that they may be guided into 
all patience and gentleness, living a Christ-like life before 
those who do so much to make life happy for us in this 
country. . . . It is a real heart-cry, therefore, when we 
missionaries say, ' Pray for us,' * Pray for me.' " 

Yet the first letters home are ringing with notes of praise 
and even joyousness. Though "Heathenism" is found to be 
"a great many shades darker " than ever realised before coming 
out, and the path is not all sunshine, we believe that each 
fresh missionary band could echo the words of one of their 
number not long ago : 

" The first months have been very happy, full of brightness. 
The Lord has been good in keeping away even any shade of 
sorrow at parting. It is just like Him ; ' His commandments 
are not grievous ' if only people would believe it, especially the 
one, ' Go ye into all the world ! ' My testimony of this short 
time, like Miss Blandford's of her long missionary career, is 
that the missionary's life is the happiest one possible." 



CHAPTER V 



Villages and their Visitors — I 



" He went round about the villages, teaching." — 5/. Mark vi. 6. 
" Have ye looked for sheep in the desert, 
For those who have missed their way? 
Have ye been in the wild, waste places, 

Where the lost and the wandering stray ? 
Have ye trodden the lonely highway ? 

The foul and darksome street ? 

It may be ye'd see in the gloaming 

The print of My wounded feet." 

— C. Penne father. 



ANGUAGE and customs hitherto 
perfectly strange are growing 
familiar to our missionary sister, 
and before her first year is com- 
pleted she is eager to visit the 
villages. No other country of 
the world contains so many vil- 
lages within a given area as 
India. About ninety per cent, 
of the entire population dwell in 
rural communities of less than 
And, therefore, vast indeed is the field 




2,000 inhabitants, 
before her. 

Although, strictly speaking, there are very few pardah-keep- 
ing women in the villages, the middle and lower classes of 
farmers' wives leading an out-of-door life, and their condition 

81 G 



82 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

being far less pitiable than the inmates of grand Zenanas, yet 
they are extremely dense and ignorant. Whether on the verdant 
plains of Bengal, in the lovely valleys of Kashmir, upon the 
vast area of the Central Provinces, or on the slopes of the 
Nilgiri Hills, numberless village women of every caste are 
either trifling or toiling away their existence in the darkness of 
Heathenism or the bigotry of a false faith. And it is to- 
wards their village sisters that the eyes of missionaries turn 
with indescribable sympathy and interest. Their first in- 
stinct is to hasten to them with the precious message of God's 
love. 

Indian women do not, may not, cannot listen to ordinary 
open-air preaching. At the approach of a stranger, the respect- 
able Hindu woman will turn aside from the road, cover her 
face, and stand with her back towards him till he has passed. 
To remain looking at a man, or to appear to heed what he 
says, is considered the height of immodest boldness. This 
relic of Muhammadan oppression is an absolute barrier to the 
spread of the Good Tidings among the women by ordin- 
ary preaching. Therefore, since no one would wish these 
modest manners to be broken down except by the holy 
boldness which springs from Christian purity, men can preach 
only to men, and the women must be reached by women. 

In Bengal and the North- West Provinces, in the Punjab and 
Central Provinces, in South India and the districts of Travan- 
core alike, wherever God has enabled us to plant permanent 
mission stations, each one becomes a centre, not only of 
evangelistic and educational work, but ot itinerative agency. 

In a private letter written in 1885 from Peshawar, by the 
Rev. Canon Sidney Pelham to his mother, the Honourable 
Mrs. J. T. Pelham (wife ot the late Bishop ot Norwich and 
a vice-president of C.E.Z.M.S.), we find the following spon- 
taneous testimony of an eye-witness : 

" Your heart would be stirred within you to see what the 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 



83 



ladies are doing in India. Here and at Amritsar they are 
working splendidly. Full of energy, bright, natural, and wonder- 
fully brave, they seem to have but one thought and one aim — 
to save souls ; and, in this spirit of earnest confidence in God 
and love to Him, they practically give up all the attractions of 
European society, and spend their lives for the poor women 
and children. At Amritsar two or three of them live in the 
heart of the city with no European near them ; here they do 




THEY ARE ALWAYS AT IT, GOING FROM VILLAGE TO VILLAGE. 



the same. Miss Mitcheson and Miss Phillips are living alone, 
a mile or two from the European quarter, and every day they 
go out visiting the Zenanas, receiving patients at their home, 
and following very closely, as it seems to me, in the steps of 
our Saviour Christ. Do not lose any opportunity of creating 
and strengthening interest at home in their work. God has 
raised them up, we cannot doubt it, and, it may be that, 
through their influence on the women, India may yet be won." 
And ten years later, in 1896, the Rev. E. A. Causton 



8 4 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

(C.M.S. Taran Taran) says : " I must mention the splendid 
work the ladies are doing. They are always at it, going from 
village to village doing the Master's work, reading to and 
teaching the girls and women, and are almost always warmly 
received. It is a thing that strikes you wherever you go. 
One must admire their zeal, their devotion, their self-sacrifice, 
their pluck. Would that their numbers were doubled ! " 

Bengal, by far the largest province, contains one-third of the 
whole population of India — seventy-four millions of people, 
dispersed over two hundred and fifty thousand square miles. 
Although we have eleven mission stations and upwards of 
forty missionaries amongst these crowded villages, thousands 
of women have not yet heard the Name of Jesus, and many 
more in so-called " Christian " villages are hungering to be 
taught the simple truths that English children learn in their 
Infant Sunday Schools. 

The Bardwan Mission— one of the earliest fields of Church 
Missionary labours — is a spot that abounds with sacred interest. 
A district somewhat larger than Lancashire, it contains nearly 
one-and-a-half millions of inhabitants. The population of 
India, unlike that of England, is leaving large centres and 
distributing itself in small towns, villages, and hamlets or 
" bustis " as they are called. There are about one hundred 
of such within a walk from the town of Bardwan, which are 
visited by Bible-women. 

Amongst the many able and revered missionaries whose 
names will ever be associated with this special field, were the 
Rev. J. J. Weitbrecht and his wife, in memory of whose 
devoted labours our Mission House at Bardwan is called 
" The Weitbrecht Memorial." 

The C.E.Z.M.S. commenced work in Bardwan at the re- 
quest of a number of Bengali gentlemen residents of the town. 

Of Miss Editha F. Mulvany's work here since 1882, would 
that we had space to tell ! Zenina teaching, day schools, 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 85 

village visitation for Bible addresses near the town, and, later 
on, itinerating with tents into the surrounding districts, have 
been continued and developed by her and her fellow-workers 
with evident tokens of real blessing. 

In spite of interruptions caused by the malarial fever, which 
is so great a foe to the health of Bardwan workers, and the 
opposition of the bigoted Hindus of the community, God's 
work has prospered. In June, 1893, a r * ot J which might have 
cost the lives of two of our devoted missionaries, took place in 
consequence of the baptism of Shushilla, a married girl of only 
ten years old. She had been a pupil in one of the Bardwan 
schools for six years, and had induced her widowed mother to 
take her and her little brother out for baptism. Both mother 
and child were carried off as prisoners by their relatives in the 
mob, their own entreaties and the efforts of the missionaries to 
retain them being unavailing. Some time after, when Miss 
Harding, on one of her itinerating tours, was camping at Gulsee, 
she discovered that dear little Shushilla, for whom so many 
in England were praying, was staying there with her grand- 
mother. Although not allowed to see her, Miss Harding knew 
that the child was standing close by the open door leading 
to an inner room, and must have heard all that she and her 
Bible-woman said and sang, and was doubtless delighting in 
the opportunity of hearing once more the Word of God that 
she used to love so much. When Miss Harding rose to leave, 
they quickly closed that door ! 

The leaders of the Hindu community made a great effort to 
turn our workers out of the very house which, in God's pro- 
vidence, our Society was shortly afterwards able to buy as our 
Mission centre ! Thus remarkably was the theme of Psalm 
xxxv. exemplified to our much-tried missionary sisters. 

For years Miss E. F. Mulvany and a small staff carried on 
evangelistic work among the women in Bardwan, visiting as 
many as one hundred villages and hamlets in the year. One 



86 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

of her helpers, Mrs. Bannerjee, an assistant missionary (since 
retired) was a convert of high caste. 

But now the expanding Bardwan Mission is to lengthen its 
cords and strengthen its stakes by establishing village centres. 
The first of these has already been opened at Mankar, a 
village some twenty miles north of Bardwan ; and the event 
was a notable one, since the way to this spot was paved with 
prayer, and this place — an ideal village centre — is now being 
worked from an ideal mission house. During the winter of 
1896-97 Miss Harding was able to visit fifty-six different 
villages. 

The need for multiplying such centres, and the opportunities 
for occupying such important openings, are alike great. Num- 
bers of " villages " around Bardwan are to-day needing " visi- 
tors," who will be the first to speak to their women the 
message of God's love. At Katwa, already a C.M.S. station, 
a catechist being placed there, the people are earnestly im- 
ploring our missionaries to send ladies to them, and promise 
to open three girls' schools at once if only they will come. 
The spirit of eager attention shown whenever the Gospel is 
preached is an evident token that God is about to richly 
answer the prayers, which have ascended ever since C.E.Z.M.S. 
workers entered the Bardwan district, that Katwa might be- 
come a mission centre. " The seed sown by Dr. Carey and 
his sons," says Miss E. F. Mulvany, " seems to be ripening for 
the harvest. If 07ily there were reapers to gather it in / " 

Perhaps the most important branch of village work in 
Bengal is that among the nominal Christians. At the various 
C.M.S, Rest-houses scattered throughout the great Nadiya 
Nuddea) district, the Christian women are gathered together 
by our missionaries for prayer, Bible reading, and the strength- 
ening of their spiritual life, while also instructing them how 
to teach the heathen women around them. For a fortnight at 
a time in each place, the missionary locates herself in some 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 



87 



centre of the native Christian population, — numbering about 
5,000, — visiting and holding classes daily. Miss Dawe, who has 
carried on much of this work for many seasons, thus graphi- 
cally describes one of her recent experiences : 

11 How I wish you could peep at me in my little room here ! 
It is one of the C.M.S. Rest-houses at which I am staying, 
away in the Nadiya district, and consists of one room only, 
which leads directly into the church, thus being really a 
kind of vestry. It has 
to serve as dining, sit- 
ting, and bedroom all 
in one. Some shelves 
in a recess contain 
stores, crockery, etc., 
and a filter (a very 
necessary article, which 
has to go with me 
everywhere). Two or 
three other boxes, the 
bed, one table con- 
taining a quantity of 
medicines ; another, 
half of which holds 
my books, the other 
half being used for 
meals, comprise the entire furniture. Surely it is in answer 
to the prayers of many friends that I am able to say that 
I very rarely feel lonely, though for weeks I do not see an 
English face or hear an English word." 

One of the C.M.S. Associated Evangelists wrote in 1892 : 
" Work has been going on quietly as usual at headquarters 
and at our two Rest-houses. At each of the out-stations, 
Morootiah and Allah Darga, there was an interruption of the 
sort we always welcome. We urged Miss Dawe, of the 




A NUDDEA COURTYARD. 



88 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

C.E.Z.M.S., to visit them, and she had grand times with the 
women for a week at each place. At Allah Darga, for some 
days beforehand, the women were most anxious to know 
when the Sahib was going to ' clear out,' i.e. 9 to make room 
for the Miss Sahiba." 

No grander field of rural mission work in India can be found 
than that of the Nadiya district, which extends over an area 
more than half as large as Wales, but much more thickly 
populated, containing at least two million souls. Each mis- 
sion centre is surrounded by a number of villages, and 
amongst these during the cold weather, i.e., November to 
February, camping tours are made by our lady missionaries 
and their Bible-women. Volumes might be written full of 
interesting incidents connected with this missionary tent life. 

The village women of Bengal, as in other parts of rural 
India, by reason of their poverty, lead a much less secluded 
and far healthier life than their ' pardah ' sisters of the towns. 
Whilst the men and boys are busy tilling the land and tending 
the cattle, the women also live almost entirely in the open air, 
and, in addition to cooking and looking after numerous babies 
(the worst performed of all their duties !), they toil all day, 
bringing water from the river or tank in large earthen vessels, 
which they poise on the hip, grinding corn, or winnowing rice 
by means of a curious instrument called a ' dhenki.' The dhenki 
is a long, heavy piece of wood, with a short pole attached to one 
end ; the outer end of this pole is generally surrounded by a 
piece of iron. The long, heavy piece is firmly fastened to an 
upright post fixed in the ground, but in such a way that it can 
be moved up and down like a see-saw. Under the pole-end, 
a rather wide hole is dug in the ground. One woman stands 
at the further end, and patiently works the piece of wood up 
and down with one foot, while another sits on the ground, con- 
tinually letting small handfuls of rice fall under the pole as it 
comes down into the hole. She is also constantly moving 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 



89 



away what has been beaten and thus winnowed by the wind, 
and keeping the hole supplied with more grain. 

The villages consist of groups of little mud huts, with wind- 
ing, narrow paths leading from one to another. Fields, blue 
with linseed or yellow with mustard crops, hedgeless and 
ditchless, are bounded ever and again by a fringe of trees, 
behind which the houses are hidden. A "house" in a 
Bengali village means several little huts on raised mud plat- 
forms, placed round a courtyard in this fashion ; 







HUT. 






c-i 








X 


£> 




a 


X 




H 






HUT. 







So that, as the missionary and her Bible-woman sit in the 
courtyard, as many as a hundred people will collect and be 
able to hear the Word. 

In camping out, if possible, the tents are pitched under the 
shade of trees near some large village, with a number of 
smaller villages within walking distance ; so that by staying 
ten days or a fortnight the workers are enabled to take the 
message of a Saviour's love to at least a dozen places, although 
some of them are so large that the whole time might well be 
given to one alone. Ten short days, and for a year the 
women in that neighbourhood will not hear the Gospel again ! 
" How we long for the time," exclaims Miss Dawe, " when 
there shall no longer be a year's interval between our visits ! 
What would be thought at home of holding a Bible class once 
a year only in a village where there was no other means of 
grace, — if such a thing can be imagined ? " 

At each fresh season for camping out the difficult problem 



Qo 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



has to be solved by our workers, Shall we revisit for further 
teaching, or go to fresh centres where the glad tidings have 
never been proclaimed ? 

One poor woman, on hearing that she would not be visited 
again till the following year, said very piteously, " Then how 
can our sins be put away? How can we learn to call on 
Jesus' Name if nobody comes again to teach us ? " 

After 'chhote harzari,' (early breakfast,) every morning the 
little band of workers sets out for some distant village or 
villages, and each missionary, accompanied by her Bible- 




TWO WOMEN ARE GRINDING RICE. 



woman, agrees to take a different direction : one, it may be, 
going to the Hindu and another to the Muhammadan 'para,' 
i.e., group of native houses. Miss Owles gives us a naive 
description of some of her experiences in 1894 : 

11 The early morning air is fresh and pleasant as we step 
forth, bag in hand, and we are seized with a longing to walk 
on briskly or to wander from the path into the grass. But 
the Bible-women are following with slow and stately tread, and 
a warning voice behind recalls the Miss Sahiba to the footpath, 
from which it is improper to wander ! So restraining our 
natural proclivities, we walk solemnly on in single file till at 
last the village is in sight. A little lad leads us into a court- 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 



9i 



yard in the Musalman part of the village. Two women are 
grinding rice ; a third is smearing the floor of the house with 
fresh mud (a daily process), a cow is tied to a bambu pole, 
and chickens are flying to and fro between house and yard. 

" A baby, entirely devoid of clothing, is basking in the sun- 
shine, whilst, on an opposite verandah, a man lounges, his 
mind apparently incap- 
able of rising above 
the pipe, long as his 
arm, that rests upon 
the ground. 

"Cautiously as we 
introduce ourselves, 
the peace of the house- 
hold is at an end. 
The baby, first aware 
of our presence, 
thrusts its brown fist 
into its mouth, and, 
screaming, rushes to- 
wards its mother, then, 
mid-way, falls upon its 
nose. The cow, frantic 
with fright, careers 
round and round the 
pole, threatening to 
break the not-too- 
securely fastened cord. One of the women seizes the baby and 
flees : then, drawing their saris closely over their faces, from 
very curiosity the others peep shyly from behind the wall. 
Even the pipe is abandoned, and the man advances to en- 
quire our business. We explain, and he, having assured us 
that the women are like cows and have no understanding, 
sullenly gives us leave to visit them. 




A MISS SAHIBA.' 



92 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

" But the next thing to be done is to persuade the women 
that their strange visitor is a woman ! They are still cower- 
ing behind the cook-house and cow-shed in fright and amaze- 
ment. Perhaps an old woman, the mistress of the house, 
ventures out first, and, pointing to the English lady, wonder- 
ingly enquires of the Bible-woman, ' Is that a woman ?' ' Yes, 
it is a Miss Sahiba come all the way from England to see you,' 
replies Rachel. ' Are you sure it is a woman ? ' 'Of course ! 
Look at her hair.' Whereupon the ' sola topi,' i.e., sun hat, 
is taken off and the English woman exhibits her hair to aid 
in convincing all beholders. By this time curiosity gets the 
better of fear, and the other women emerge from their hiding- 
places. Presently, a mat is hospitably spread, and a little 
group squats around the visitors, who sit cross-legged in the 
centre. Then follows the inevitable string of questions. 
1 How did you become white ? ' ' Where is your sahib ? ' 
4 Not married, alas ! What age can you be ? When does 
the marriage take place ? ' Their curiosity satisfied, they 
subside into silence, and the real work begins. Great is the 
amazement as the story of Redemption is unfolded, and 
touching are the remarks called forth. ' Does He love us ? 
We are only like the animals ! This religion must be for you, 
not for us.' Very eager is the response to the question of the 
visitors, ' Would you like to hear one of our hymns ? ' and 
often tears roll down sad faces while the Saviour's loving 
message is given in sacred song. But the time flies all too 
quickly. Their fears dissipated, the women crowd around 
their new-found friend, their only anxiety being to secure a 
promise of another visit. 'These words are so new to us. 
How can we remember if we hear only once? You must 
come again and again.' 

"And so, although the reception may not always be so 
cordial, for occasionally the men will object to their wives 
being taught, or one or two bigoted women may argue loudly, 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 93 

and hinder others who long to listen quietly, the village doors 
of Nadiya stand widely open on every hand." 

Sometimes the novel contrivance of an open-air magic 
lantern is employed for sowing the seed in these dark hearts. 
Hundreds will gather round the spot where two upright 
bambu posts, and a third across at the top, are prepared to 
hang the sheet. And there in the still Indian evening, with 
the fireflies glancing round, as darkness, jncreased by the 
luxuriant foliage overhead, comes on, what a sea of faces is 
turned expectantly towards the sheet ! First a picture of Her 
Majesty, the Queen-Empress ; next a few English scenes ; and 
then a series of pictures illustrating the Life of our Lord. As 
one after another is explained in simple language, a hush falls 
on the listening crowd, broken only by exclamations of 
admiration, wonder, and then genuine sorrow as the story of 
Calvary is told. Not a few, Hindus and Muhammadans 
alike, thus hear for the first time the Saviour's voice, and turn 
from idols or a false faith to serve the Living and True God. 
One instance must be given. "At Morootiah," says Miss 
Dawe, " one dear little child has been gathered into the Good 
Shepherd's fold above. I had shown my magic lantern in 
her para during the winter visit, and her eager interest and 
pleasure had been delightful to witness. She had given 
many proofs that, though living in a heathen home, she had 
given her heart to Jesus. Walking along a road one day, she 
saw a wild pig (a dangerous animal) approaching. At first 
she was frightened, then remembered all she had heard about 
Jesus Christ, and at once prayed to Him to protect her. The 
pig thereupon turned round and ran off in another direction, 
and Shorola went home and told her mother how Jesus had 
saved her. Later on in the spring she died of cholera ; but 
that Shorola loved Christ seemed well known to all in the 
para, and we heard how often she had spoken of Him, and 
had sung the hymns she had learnt from us." 



94 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



Among the Zenana ladies, too, of this great Nadiya district 
the message is winning its way by the power of God's Holy 
Spirit. Although at the first visit the missionary is met 
with argument, the second year, faith in the old gods is found 
to have been severely shaken, and twelve months later the 
women, wives and daughters, it may be, of the Zamindar, will 
confess that they believe no longer in their idols, and that 

they only wish to learn 
about the true Saviour. 
From Camp Murgachi, 
Miss Rainsford-Hannay 
wrote in 1892 : "One 
feels such yearning love 
for these poor souls. 
Last night I could not 
sleep for hours, but con- 
tinued in earnest prayer 
for the women who had 
been listening to us. 
Mohini, the Bible- 
woman, and I had been 
*in two houses, and in 
each we spent over 
two hours, speaking and 
singing by turns. In 
each house more than 
twenty ' Bows,' i.e., young wives, came to listen to us, and 
they were very attentive, remembering all we had taught 
them last year. One said quite bravely before all the others, 
1 Come to-morrow, come every day till you have taught me all 
about Jesus, the true Pathway of salvation. I could believe in 
your God, but I don't know Him.' Do you wonder that sleep 
forsook me while I wrestled in prayer for her and her com- 
panions ? " 




A WAYSIDE IDOL. 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 95 

The large native town of Nadiya, seven miles from Krish- 
nagar and on the other side of the Ganges, is not only con- 
sidered the Oxford of Bengal, on account of its celebrated 
Sanscrit pandits and colleges, but a peculiarly " holy " place by 
reason of its numberless Brahman priests and temples, and 
the sacred waters flowing through it. On certain occasions, 
pilgrims, especially women, swarm into the place from all 
parts of Bengal, coming many days' journey on foot, to bathe 
in the river, and to cast in their offerings of fruit, flowers, corn, 
etc. To bathe in the Ganges at Nadiya in June is supposed 
to cleanse away the sins of ten births. These 'melas,' or 
festivals, form the grandest possible opportunities for wayside 
teaching, and are eagerly embraced by our missionary sisters. 

From Bousie, a place in the Bhagulpur district, famous for 
its religious fair, Miss Haitz and Miss Hall, with their Bible- 
women, wrote in 1896 : " The mela was not so well attended 
this year. Many of the people are offended with their gods 
for not sending rain upon their rice crops. Yet when I asked 
a Babu how many people were bathing in the ' sin-destroying 
pool,' he said about 50,000 ! 

" We were at this ' sacred ' tank soon after 8 a.m., and a 
busy time we had, selling Scripture portions and telling the 
people of the blood of Jesus which does really cleanse from 
sin. Such crowds of attentive listeners gathered round us ! 
The water being low from want of rain, the banks were large, 
and we could easily make our way among the people, who, in 
family groups, sat eating their breakfast. Others were arriving, 
or in the act of bathing. While in the pool, they worship the 
sun by throwing up water towards it. When they come out, 
they prostrate themselves before stones on which the priests 
have made some red marks, and throw money into the water, 
for which, doubtless, the priests know how to fish ! 

" The poor children and old women shivered in the chilly 
morning air after their cold bath, following upon a long 



9 6 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

journey in a bullock cart or on foot. Many had been 
travelling for several days without a warm meal or bed, 
huddled together day and night in the gari. 

" To one family who looked so tired and cold, and who owned 
that they had suffered much on their pilgrimage, we spoke of 
the true way to obtain remission of sins through One who had 
suffered all for them. 

" Voices and feet were very tired when we reached home to 
breakfast at twelve o'clock ; but at two p.m. we set out again, 
this time to the fair, where the bathers buy what they need for 
homes or farms. Here the people were thronging the temple 
of the god Masuden with their offerings. Not long ago an 
elephant was presented to the temple, and it is now employed 
to take the idol down to bathe in the ' holy ' waters. Such is 
heathenism. Its gods require cleansing from sin ! " 

In the early part of this year, (1897) telegrams from India 
brought news of a terrible calamity which had befallen the 
empire. Famine had overtaken many millions ; 37,000,000 were 
in " famine" districts, where the food was not sufficient to sustain 
life, and 44,000,000 more in "scarcity" districts, where the 
food was insufficient to maintain health. The sick, of whom 
there were soon many scores of thousands, little children and 
particularly the women in Zenanas, were beyond the strenuous 
and noble work of the Government officials in saving life ; and 
to these the sympathy and efforts of our missionaries in 
Bengal, the North-West and Central Provinces, and in the 
Punjab were at once directed. The Jabalpur district was, 
perhaps, the most severely visited of all, and here our workers' 
energies were taxed to the utmost, amidst heart-rending sights 
and sounds, in providing food for the starving, tending the 
dying, and receiving the famished orphans in increasing 
numbers day by day. At Penagur, Gurha, Barela, and other 
out-stations, boys and girls were to be seen wandering help- 
lessly about the roads and jungles, reduced to skeletons, and too 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 



97 



far gone to have the energy even to beg. Thirteen of such 
children were rescued by Miss Branch, of Jabalpur, on one of 
her visits to Barela, and sent to Mr. Gill's C.M.S. Orphanage. 
" You may judge," she wrote afterwards, " how starved the poor 
little things were, when I tell you that they were brought into 
Jabalpur (a distance of ten miles) in baskets slung over the 
shoulders of fishermen, each man carrying two children, and 
this in pouring rain, and over the river Gaur in a ferry." 




RESCUED BABIES AT BREAKFAST. 



The Graphic filled one page with two illustrations represent- 
ing a ravenous crowd being fed in the compound of the 
C.E.Z. Mission-house at Penagur. Visiting the villages at 
such a time was painful indeed. Writing from Jabalpur in 
February, Miss Branch said : 

" Out in the villages it is pitiful to see human creatures 
picking up dust, and searching for grass, seed, or any other 
grain, and gathering weeds to boil and eat. 
Last Saturday a poor woman brought her baby of four 
months old to us, and begged us to take it, as she 
could not feed it. She did not want to sell it, but to 
give it to us. One of our Hindu school teachers was in the 
verandah at the time, and she said, ' Give it to me ; my own 

H 



98 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

child is dead, and I will care for it.' The poor little thing 
was wailing piteously, and was fearfully thin and wasted. It 
seemed comforted by its new mother's love and by the warm 
shawl in which she wrapped it. Its own mother shed just 
a few quiet tears, asked for some bread to eat, and then 
went away. ... I should like you to see our native 
workers ; they are simply splendid. They have helped us, 
heart and soul, in every way, and never grumble at extra work 
caused by giving aid to the needy. . . . We do hope that 
many workers will come out here next autumn, not only for 
work amongst Heathen, but to care for and teach the new 
Christians. Many young girls and women are daily being 
received into mission homes and orphanages, and they will 
require much patient training and teaching." 

Soon after those words were written, the high-caste Zenanas 
of two distant villages, hitherto unvisited by any lady mission- 
ary, were suddenly thrown open to our workers at Jabalpur, 
owing to the distribution of Government relief through their 
hands to the pardah ladies, whom they found to be in a state 
of great deprivation and distress, and whom only they could 
reach. Thus a widely-open door for the Gospel message was 
set before us, and the cry for more labourers for this ripening 
harvest was redoubled and is sounding still. 

And now we come to the Punjab Village Mission, of which 
Miss Clay, the greatest pioneer of Village Missions, was the 
honoured founder at the beginning of our history in 1881. 

It is about fourteen years since a remarkable map reached us 
from the Punjab. Its outline was shaped like a somewhat 
clumsy Wellington boot, the sole turned north-west, and a 
broad band, running from above the gouty toe to the heel, 
traced the course of the Ravee River. This map was crowded 
with names and studded with red dots. Miss Clay had begun 
a Zenana Village Mission in the Punjab ; the map showed its 
area, and the red dots the villages which Miss Clay and Miss 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 99 

Catchpool had visited. This land of promise was divided 
into four districts : Narowal, Saurian, Amritsar, and Taran 
Taran. A marginal note explained that the district of the 
Zenana Village Mission, according to official statistics, con- 
tained an area of 2,018 square miles, with a population of 
1,087,006 souls, living in 1,571 towns and villages, exclusive 
of Amritsar and its immediate neighbourhood. 

Miss Clay, with this illustration, made an appeal for the 
" T >55° villages depending on us, of which only about 300 
have yet been visited, because English ladies will not or do not 
come out with the Message of Life." It is appalling to think 
of the numbers who have passed beyond our reach since those 
words were written. Yet, owing to God's good Hand upon 
our missionary sisters, there are now seven centres, with 
churches, dispensaries and schools, and we can count on our 
roll of workers in the Punjab Village Mission a band of more 
than fifty missionaries, assistants and native Bible-women. 
From the first day that Miss Clay, with her one native helper, 
began to itinerate from the ' dak ' bungalow at Fathgarh 
among the primitive Punjabi villages until the present moment, 
there has been no cessation, but continual increase of this 
evangelistic work among the women. Time and space would 
fail were we even to sketch what is being done to-day among 
the numberless villages that surround our mission stations of 
Amritsar, Batala, Narowal, Taran Taran, Ajnala, Baharwal and 
Jandiala. Writing home in June, 1894, Miss Clay says : 

" I have no record here of the number of our visits during 
the early part of the year around Ajnala and Saurian and 
Ghogha ; but Miss Singh, Miss Toussaint and I have paid 706 
visits in the 106 villages in the Khutrain and Thoba part of 
the district during the course of the year. . . . During 
the mela there was no need for us to go to it, as the women 
came to us. The last afternoon, the house and verandah 
were so filled that we were each busy with different groups, 



ioo BEHIND THE PARDAH 

Amongst others, a young girl was there who had been taught 
in one of our schools near Ajnala. She repeated several texts, 
and then said to us, 'Why have you left Ajnala? we want 
you back ' ; to which a Khutrain woman responded, ' We can- 
not spare them any more ; you have had plenty of oppor- 
tunities of hearing about Christ. We are hungry ; now let us 
have a chance.'" 

In 1896, after twenty years' unceasing labour, crowned with 
abundant success, our veteran missionary, Miss Clay, was 
compelled by failing health to resign her much-loved work. 
Miss Hewlett, writing to her in February, 1897, "a few lines 
of good cheer concerning the Punjab villages," said : 

"I heard the Rev. R. Clark remark the other day, that 
wherever any one might go in your districts, he would find cer- 
tain indications that the foundations of the work were laid 
in prayer, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and with wonderful 
foresight This is eminently the case at Khutrain. . . . 
At the very beginning of this year thirteen persons professed 
their faith in Christ, and were baptized in the little Prayer- 
room; they were men, women, and children of intelligent 
age. . . . You will indeed be overjoyed to hear that in 
the neighbourhood of Thoba there are 200 inquirers : not 
ignorant ones, merely coming in a crowd, but intelligent men 
and women. Every name has been put down, and systematic 
regular teaching is now urgently called for. . . . The time 
has come for a permanent settlement at Thoba. God has put 
a craving in my heart to see Thoba a strong village centre, with 
its little band of workers gathering in these hungry souls that 
have been awakened. ... Do beg all your friends who 
know what it is to ' pray in the Holy Ghost ' to plead earnestly 
that more yielded^tp lives may be given to the service of teach- 
ing these inquirers and new Christians." 



CHAPTER VI 



Villages and their Visitors — II 

" Coming, coming, yes, they are ! Coming, coming from afar ! 
From the Indus and the Ganges 
Steady flows the living stream 
To Love's ocean, to His bosom, 
Calvary their wond'ring theme ! " 




OUSE-TO-HOUSE visiting in the 
Punjab differs widely from the 
English district visitor's experi- 
ence ! Miss Tuting, of Amritsar, 
says that there are two methods 
open to the lady missionary. One 
is to climb up rickety ladders to 
the house-tops ; the other, to plod 
through narrow lanes, the centre 
of which is generally occupied by 
a "slough of despond." In the 
rainy weather it is well to borrow a stout stick, and, planting 
it firmly in the middle of the black slush, hop from side to 
side of the sloping, slippery bank, supporting oneself by the 
walls on either side, until the mud houses to be visited are 
reached, and the central court is entered, where buffaloes, 
cows, women and children live together. 

Then the women and children come swarming over roofs 
and walls to listen to the Miss Sahiba, and squat beside her, 
plaiting one another's hair, or winnowing rice whilst they 
listen. 

IOI 



io2 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

Outside the village is the pond, made by digging out mud 
to build the houses. Each year before the hot weather sets 
in, every thrifty housewife and her children are busy in 
fetching more mud to spread over the roof and floor and walls, 
to repair the waste caused by the heavy rains. At that season, 
if an absent pupil be inquired after, it is found that she is 
" carrying mud." In the said pond, the buffaloes lie all day in 
the hot weather, with only their noses above water, and there 
also the children bathe and play. The greener the pond the 
better it is, say the mothers, as it will keep the children 
" fresh." 

Miss Dewar thus naively describes a typical Punjabi village 
audience : 

" All gathered together to listen— some on the ground, 
others sticking, crab- like, to the edge of a low charpaie, the 
middle and best part being always filled with a swarm of 
restless, unhappy children — an audience shifting and changing 
like bees, but attentive, in a way. There was the typical amiable 
old woman, who says ' isi tarah,' i.e. t ' just so,' to everything. 
Then, of course, there were two or three specimens of the 
'dense woman,' called by her countrywomen ' nambda budh, 
i.e., ' felt brain,' who says nothing, and a lady-caller who 
thought herself above the average in understanding. They 
liked the story of Abraham and Isaac ; even the poor dense 
face brightened up, and the clever one forgot to argue." 

Peeping into a recent journal of one of our Punjabi' village 
missionaries, Miss Jansen, we find some graphic jottings. 

" An Indian twilight. How different from the sweet, soft 
English evenings ! A red dusky glare and the great sun sink- 
ing slowly with not a single cloud. All around us, half-starved 
cows are wending their way home through a haze of dust to 
the little mud-built villages here and there, over which the 
smoke hangs thickly, for it is evening cooking time. As we 
drive slowly through Dopayian we are followed by crowds of 







J 03 



104 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

children and barking dogs, while the men, sitting in groups round 
their huqqas, turn to look at us with various remarks. It is 
nearly dark now, and we are very glad to get out of the little 
cart in which we have been jolted for hours, and to enter our 
tent pitched almost inside the village. Our arrival is a great 
excitement to the children, who peep in, and when we look at 
them, scamper away, screaming ; only to return, however, in 
greater numbers ! It will be difficult to sleep to-night ; the 
oxen are tethered just outside and stamp about, dogs bark and 
men talk all night long. 

M 13th. A regular camp day ! I spent all the morning 
visiting in this village ; then, coming in, gave away medicines 
and talked to the women who crowd the tent-door. The 
monotony of their lives and the future so dark before them are 
terrible ; as one old woman said to-day, ' Yes, we all have to 
die, and then all is dark ; zve have no hope, no light.' Oh, if 
friends at home could see the earnest, hungry faces of a few in 
a noisy crowd, striving to remember the name of Christ ! A 
poor blind old woman to-day stretched out her hands to me 
and said, l Yes, yes, all you say is true, one cannot remain 
young, friends pass away like a lamp that goes out, and one's 
own turn will come. Then tell me where I can find the True 
Guru (teacher).' 

11 To-day a ' Sadho,' i.e., holy man, arrived and pitched close 
to our tents. He lay stretched out on a bed, with a grand 
umbrella over him, to receive his worshippers and their offer- 
ings. This evening his puja has been going on, the women 
bringing him their choicest foods, whilst a most horrible noise 
of drums and cymbals and monotonous singing is kept up 
unceasingly. 

" As I write, a crowd of faces presses against the tent door. 
These are some of the remarks that are being made : 

' c ' Look well and long ! They are the big unmarried girls ! ' 

" ' One has a big face, one has a little face ! 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 105 

" ' I suppose they read all night. Such as they would not 
sleep as we do ! ' 

" 14th. — To-day we have moved on, and had to be up early 
to look after the men. They are so fond of doing a little, 
and then sitting down to smoke and surveying all that remains 
to be done. One dreads moving days, except for the fact 
that all the things and scraps of matting get some of the dirt 
brushed or shaken out of them. We, too, feel terribly dusty ; 
but the comfort is that we are both equally in the same plight, 
and there is no one else to see ! 

" We have had a difficult time in one place to-day. The 
men were very insulting. They followed me through the 
village ; hid themselves behind the women, and mocked and 
laughed. I confess I am very frightened of the men, but 
God is ever faithful and keeps us from harm. 

"In an out-of-the-way village, three old women came up to 
me and stared, perfectly aghast, and with their mouths wide 
open, until one of them ejaculated, ' This is a Mem,' *>., an 
English lady. I could not help laughing, which amazed them 
still more. It is so funny to be a kind of ' show ' ! 

"As I sit writing this evening in the tent door, a stretch of 
sand and dust lies before me, a mud village in the foreground ; 
on one side an old ruin, with the grave of some Guru, where 
lights are kept burning ; whilst men and animals are trudging 
home after the day's work. Our dinner is being cooked just 
outside, and the servants are making their flat cakes, of which 
we often have to make a meal. 

" 16th. — Yesterday (Sunday) was a day of encouragement 
and blessing. Nearly all day we were besieged by women 
from all the villages around, coming, not so anxious to get 
medicine as to hear the Word of God. 'Ah !' they said, 'we 
cannot see you and hear the sweet words about your Guru 
Jesus every day ; and it seems so good, so full of comfort, that 
you must not mind if we tire you. We want to look at your 



io6 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

faces, too ; they have become dear to us.' I have never felt 
so strongly before that the Holy Spirit was attracting and 
drawing hearts to Christ. 

"Just as it was light this morning, I awoke to hear crying 
outside the door, and women's voices saying : ' We thought 
unless we came very early they might be gone, and we want to 
see them again and hear the Word of the true God. We shall 
forget so soon. This is only a life of four days, and who knows 
if we shall hear again ? Only the living meet.' So, wrapping 
myself in my dressing-gown, in the cold of the morning I rose 
and went to tell them more about Jesus. God grant that we 
may meet among the 'great multitude ' hereafter around His 
throne ! 

" Every day for a fortnight we have been out, steadily teach- 
ing and preaching the Kingdom of God j and, to our great joy, 
we realise that we have thus reached eighty villages. Some- 
times they have not accepted us, have even insulted us ; but 
'the servant is not greater than his Lord.' And 'it is an 
unspeakable honour to be so close to the Master as to be 
bespattered by the mud flung at Him.'' And what matter sore 
hearts and weary bodies if, in the end, souls are gathered into 
the Fold?" 

Of the winter camping season, 1896-97, Miss Jansen has 
written : 

"We have entered 232 villages, and about 889 houses, and 
have been able to reach a part of our district that has not 
been visited for about four years. The hot weather is now 
upon us, and we have had to give up our happy tent life. 
Since our return to headquarters, one woman has three times 
walked eighteen miles to see us and hear again of Jesus, the 
true Guru." 

It is now ten years since Miss Margaret Smith (Hon. C.E.Z. 
missionary) went as a pioneer to explore the Hazara, a dis- 
trict about 150 miles long and nearly fifty miles wide, con- 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 107 

taining several hundred thousand inhabitants, with three chief 
towns — Haripur, Abbottabad, and Mansahra. The people 
bore the character of great bigotry, but belied it by giving her 
a warm welcome. One who might have been expected to 
be the last to accept the Gospel proved to be the first. A 
1 mullah,' i.e., expounder of the Muhammadan sacred writ- 
ings, whose father was a ' maulvi,' i.e., teacher, and who had 
never, before he met Miss Smith, heard the name of Christ, 
came to her with the confession, " I am such a sinner, how 
can I be saved?" He received in a child-like spirit her 
answer from God's Word, and afterwards followed her on foot 
forty miles to learn more. Circumstances obliged Miss Smith 
to leave the Hazara, but she had the joy of seeing Ghulam 
Akbar a consistent Christian, and working, until his death 
from cholera in 1892, as a useful assistant in the C.M.S. 
Amritsar Hospital. Another attempt to work in the Hazara 
was made by Miss Phillips in 1890. The Black Mountain 
Expedition, in 1891, made it necessary for her and her fellow- 
missionary to retire, but they left the women in tears. At 
length, a permanent Mission has been started — the first and 
only one in the Hazara ; in nearly a hundred Zenanas the 
women are being regularly taught, and the surrounding villages 
visited by Miss Condon and her helper. One sad feature of 
Hazara village life is the number of destitute old women. 
The custom of plurality of wives destroys family life. Hus- 
bands who cannot afford to support several wives, simplify 
matters by turning the old wife adrift, and bringing a new one 
to take her place. Hence, there are depths of woe among the 
Hazara women, who, in countless numbers, are still waiting 
to be reached. Little peace or love is known in their 
homes. Miss Condon, writing in 1896, says : " We know now 
of one house where the new wife, quite a little girl, is lying 
very ill, supposed to have been poisoned by the elder wife." 
We must now glance for a moment at village work in the 



108 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

far West. From itinerating tours around Karachi — recently 
plague-stricken — comes the same earnest cry for reapers. 

"Daily during our visit to Tatta," says Miss Carey, "we 
visited a dear old woman who has wept herself blind in 
sorrowing for her three sons, and who listened eagerly to the 
story of a True Guru, who could give peace to the broken- 
hearted. Great was her sorrow when we told her that we 
must go away. 

" ' Since your feet came into my house, joy and rest have 
come,' was her cry. And it was sweet to hear her pray the 
prayer for a new heart which we had taught her, adding, " O 
God, show me Thy face ! ' 

" ■ When will you come again ? ' asked a polite Hindu boy, 
who had taken us to see some of the ladies of his family, 
whom he was most anxious we should visit. ' I hope to do so 
next cold weather,' was the reply. ' Next cold weather ! ' he 
echoed ) ■ why, who will be alive then ? We want a lady to 
live here and teach.' " 

But we have yet to tell of villages and village visitors in the 
south of our great Indian Empire. And, although, in most of 
the stations, it is Muhammadan women who are being reached 
(of whom we speak in another chapter), the extensive itiner- 
ating work around Madras, Bangalore, Ootacamund, Masuli- 
patam, Ellore, and more especially perhaps in Tinnevelly, 
cannot be passed over without mention. Of the late Miss 
Wallinger's devoted and multifarious labours at Ootacamund 
and Coonoor, Miss Ling, her fellow-labourer, remarks : 
" How she worked and prayed for the Wynaad will never 
be forgotten by those who knew her " ; and the fact that there 
is a vigorous branch of the C.M.S. now under the superin- 
tendence of a European missionary, is largely due to her 
representations and efforts. 

But unique, perhaps, in the annals of our itinerating work, 
stands the Mission to an aboriginal tribe, the Todas of the 




VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 109 

Nilgiri Hills. According to the last census they numbered 
only 765. Taller and fairer than the people of the plains, 
with fine handsome figures and chiselled features, this strange 
tribe differs widely from the ordinary natives of India. They 
consider themselves to have been, from time immemorial, 
" Kings of the Hills," the other hill-tribes paying them tribute, 
and even our own Government having to make due compensa- 
tion for their land. 

The men wear their hair long 
and in a thick mop. The 
women, when in full dress, 
have theirs hanging, as far only 
as the shoulders, in straight, 
corkscrew curls. Both men 
and women alike wrap them- 
selves in large cotton sheets, 
ornamented with rough needle- * 

work in dark blue cotton, while A TODA W0MAN AND CIIILD - 
a pocket stitched on the inner side is a receptacle for all kinds 
of Toda dainties ! The women's special adornment consists 
of an elaborate system of tattoo, with heavy brass armlets — 
each weighing about 1 lb. — and bunches of kauri shells. The 
Todas consider washing a superfluous luxury, and it is only at 
the great annual Toda fete that they make any attempt at 
cleanliness, either in their persons or their clothes. 

The ' mands,' or villages, each enclosed by a rough stone 
wall, consist of three or four huts of quite an original shape — 
arched like a half-barrel standing on the flat side, with a 
thatched roof. In front of the hut there is a small aperture, 
3 feet square, serving for door, window, and chimney. 
Through this only opening one must enter the abode "on 
all fours." Within, a raised 'pial,' or platform, is on either 
side, one serving as kitchen, the other as bedroom. 

The Todas are entirely a pastoral people, and their one 



no 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



occupation is to tend large herds of buffaloes, with which 
their system of religious worship is connected ; for, like them- 
selves, their manners and customs, their religion is unique. 
In every Toda mand is a hut called 'palthchi,' or sacred 
dairy, standing apart from the rest. Here lives the sacred 
dairyman, ' Palkarpal,' whose duty it is to milk the buffaloes 
of the village, and to store and distribute among the people 
their fair portions of milk and ' ghi,' i.e., clarified butter. 
Besides these dairy temples, there are others far removed from 
all human habitations, where, in turn, a large brass bell is 

jealously guarded. This 
bell is supposed to have 
come down from ' Am- 
nar,' the Toda heaven, 
on the neck of the first 
buffalo that was created. 

But, beyond a vague 
notion of one supreme 
God, the rites connected 
with the sacrifice of buffa- 
loes at their great funeral 
ceremonies, and the salam 
they make to the rising and setting sun and moon, the Todas 
have nothing of what may fairly be called a religion. Their 
only prayer is a most suggestive one : " May it be well with 
the male children, may it be well with the men, may it be 
well with the cows, may it be well with every one ! " 

The position of women among the Todas is one of great 
inferiority and degradation. A woman is never allowed inside 
a temple enclosure, nor permitted to join in any religious 
ceremonies. The terrible practice of polyandry prevails 
among them, the custom being for several brothers or cousins 
to have the same wife. The bride is brought to the house of 
her future husband, and the chief marriage ceremony is that 




TODA WOMEN MOURNING. 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 



in 



of stooping down for the bridegroom to place, first the right 
and then the left foot on her head. She is, forthwith, ordered 
to fetch water for cooking, and is installed mistress (or slave !) 
of the house. 

Miss C. F. Ling is 
at present the only 
Englishwoman who 
can carry the Gospel 
message in their own 
tongue to the Todas. 
The story of the way 
in which she first 
visited the women at 
the earnest entreaties 
of a Toda man, who 
considered he had 
been healed through 
the prayers and medi- 
cines of a native 
Christian from Ellore, is one of thrilling interest. Miss 
Wallinger opened C.E.Z.M.S. work among the tribe, but it 
was reserved to Miss Ling to give the Todas the first book— 
one of the Gospels — in their hitherto unwritten language. In 
1894 she completed this difficult and noble task, although at 
the same time she was superintending the C.E.Z. Mission at 
Ootacamund, a station some thousands of feet higher on the 
Nilgiris. A twelvemonth later Miss Ling remarks : — 

" Lest you should think it is all play and no work in the 
Ootacamund Zenana Mission House, I will introduce you to 
an interesting scene. A Bible Revision Committee is being 
held, and it is engaged on the Gospel of St. Mark in Toda. 
There are only two revisers, the original translator (myself) 
and a Toda man, who was not present when the translation 
was made a little over a year ago. The object is to see 




A TODA BRIDE PAYING HOMAGE. 



H2 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

whether the Gospel in Toda is understandable of the people. 
For if it be so to him — one of the wildest and the most 
unkempt of this wild and unkempt tribe — surely it will be so 
to any one of them. There are no fellow-revisers to object 
to one's rendering, nor is there any one whose advice can be 
sought on knotty points, and these appear to be many, to 
judge by the perplexed looks and the quaint illustrations that 
are used to explain the meaning of some word for which the 
reviser is trying to find the equivalent in Toda. A 'prophet,' 
the ' Kingdom of God,' ' disciple,' and many kindred terms, 
are so many enigmas to the shock-headed man before us, 
whose sole idea of a sacred functionary is the man who milks 
the sacred herd of buffaloes, and the only thing he has to 
teach his disciples is how to perform this act. As for the 
Kingdom of God, probably nothing but becoming a member 
of that Kingdom can teach him what it means. May that 
day speedily dawn ! " 

Thank God, the day is dawning amidst that strange and 
interesting people, the remnant of a noble race. Little Toda 
children are learning in Christian schools sweet texts of Scrip- 
ture and Bible stories in their own tongue. They are clasping 
their tiny hands in prayer to God, and a spirit of earnest 
enquiry and longing is being aroused in the hearts of their 
sad, weary mothers. 

Miss Ivy Wallinger, who accompanied Miss Ling on one of 
her visits to the Toda women, tells of " a delicious day " spent 
among them in going from mand to mand. 

" Away and away over the hills, keeping closely to the path 
evidently worn by the Todas, we slid on over the burning 
grass, and at last came to the grey stone walls. We squeezed 
through the entrance, and there, down in the hollow, lay five 
huts, such beauties ! There was a great shout of welcome as 
Miss Ling went down the steps, and the women came crawling 
out of their houses. 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 



"3 



11 ' My eyes have been hungry to see you,' said one old 
woman. We all crowded together — an audience of fourteen 
— on the wooden bench outside a hut. The dear women, 
with their beautiful faces and shy grace, quite won my heart. 
How they talked when the teaching was over ! I asked if I 
might go into one of the huts. They said Yes, but I must 
not go near their food. So, taking off my 'topi/ and going on 
hands and knees a la caterpillar, I crawled in at the tiny door. 
There seemed to be a confusion of brass pots and kettles, etc. 




LITTLE TODA CHILDREN.' 



I sat on the bed, a raised piece of ground flattened down quite 
hard, on which the family slept ! 

"We left the mand with great regret, the women and 
children, and even the men, calling out after us, ' Salam, 
salam ! ' i.e., ' Peace ! peace ! ' " 

That the hearts of these strange people are won by kind- 
ness, the workers have abundant proof. 

"One evening, Thangkem, our Bible-woman, fell and sprained 
her ankle on leaving a 'mand.' A fortnight later the Todas 

1 



ii 4 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

came and asked why she had not been to see them lately. 
Soon afterwards they came again, and said, ' We have vowed 
two bottles of milk to Jesus Christ if you recover.' She is 
well now," says Miss Ling. 

Since 1875, tne Misses Brandon have been labouring in- 
defatigably at Masulipatam, with its now important out-stations 
of Bezwada and Kummamett. Eternity alone will reveal the 
extent and depth of a ministry fruitful in result. Work is 
opening up in all directions. As many as 900 Zenana pupils 
are being taught, while Converts' and Inquirers' Homes, and 
schools for Hindu and Muhammadan children, are re-inforced 
by the labours of those who visit the surrounding villages. 
The sister-station of Ellore — a flat, green reach, where the sun 
shines on winding canals, glittering Hindu pagodas and Mu- 
hammadan minarets — has been adopted by Australia. One 
after another, faithful missionaries have been sent out from 
the Antipodes to carry on both Hindu and Muhammadan 
work there, and have met with much encouragement. 

Of Miss Graham's work among the Kois at Dummagudem, 
one of our most isolated stations, we tell in Chapter XI. — 
Our Suffering Sisters behind the Pardah. 

Reluctantly passing by the manifold labours of Miss Blyth 
in Tinnevelly, within a radius of some forty-five miles, we 
glance next at itinerating work in the north of the Province. 
As early as 1885, visiting the villages was being carried on 
within a circle of forty miles round Sachiepuram, and two 
years later, there were ten important out- stations connected 
with the North Tinnevelly Mission, with a staff of native 
helpers, requiring the supervi3ion and care of our mis- 
sionaries. 

We have previously referred to the heathenism and idolatry 
of this most heathen and most idol-worshipping portion of 
India. No wonder that one of the workers should urgently 
plead for offers of personal service from her sisters in England 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 115 

for this needing field! "Until this appeal is answered,'' she 
says, "a sad sense of souls living and dying, unsought and 
untaught, will rest upon us, the few solitary missionaries among 
the 500,000 heathen of North Tinnevelly." 

Since 1893, the Misses Mary and Blanche Turner (the 
former of whom God has recently taken to Himself), in 
addition to the superintending of Bible-women and schools, 
have been itinerating among the villages, spending sometimes 
three out of four weeks in tents. Their own story of one 
experience in the autumn of 1895 abundantly proves that 
the Lord was " working with them, and confirming the Word 
with signs following." 




A MUD IDOL. 



" We, that is, my sister and I and the catechist of the place, 
had come to a little courtyard. It was getting so dark that 
we could scarcely discern the faces of the women, who crowded 
together to hear our Message. As we came away I said, 
I cannot help feeling that some heart was touched to-night. 
Though we knew it not then, such was indeed the case. That 
evening, one who was there, a high- caste widow from the 
Zamindar's palace, decided that she would become a Christian. 
Three months later, when again at Vazihula, she came over 
from her village, and told of her great longing. She begged 
that she might be taken to our village, as, should the Zadarmin 



n6 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

hear of her determination, he would at once take her daughter 
of twelve and marry her to a heathen. On being asked why 
she desired to become a Christian, and being reminded that 
she must give up much — caste, wealth, etc. — she said, 'All 
these things perish, my soul does not. I want peace, and 
I believe the Christian religion can give it to me.' 

"A month later she secretly left the palace, and came over 
to Sachiepuram, where she was instructed for baptism, and 
her little daughter was sent to school." 

Glancing next at Trevandrum and its villages, we find that 
there is no such thing as 'gasha,' or Zenana, amongst the 
Hindus in the enlightened State of Travancore. " It would 
doubtless surprise you," writes Miss Blandford, "to see a 
group of Hindu caste women, chiefly Tamil and Mahratta 
Brahmans, bathing out of doors in a corner of the sacred tank, 
close to the high road outside the Fort. These women may 
not be of the highest rank; such would probably bathe in 
tanks attached to their own gardens j but by the jewels and 
rich silk cloths worn by some of them, it is evident that they 
are above the class of working women. Travancore has never 
been conquered by the Muhammadans, and the status of Hindu 
women here is more like that of their sisters in past ages, of 
whose virtues the poets have sung, than of those in North 
India. Doubtless, pardah is kept in the few Muhammadan 
houses, but the Moslems form quite an inconsiderable item 
in the large population of women. Brahman ladies here may 
often be seen driving about in horse or bullock carriages with 
the windows down, enabling them to see all that passes in the 
road. Wives of Maharajas and princes are the only ladies 
obliged to sit behind closed Venetians when paying visits to 
their friends. The women of Travancore, in consequence of 
the great freedom allowed to them, have, of course, a much 
larger share of intelligence than their closely confined co- 
religionists in North India. Six Bible-women, Malayalam 



VILLAGES AND THEIR VISITORS 117 

and Tamil, are at work daily, visiting from house to house 
amongst caste women of lower rank, and I trust we shall meet 
many hereafter, who have been led to Christ through their 
teaching, though few have yet come forward for baptism. 
Tamil women are much more ready to act up to their con- 
victions than those of the Malayalam race, who shrink from 
the severance of earthly ties which baptism involves." 

With one more glimpse at our Travancore and Cochin 
Mission we must conclude. Miss Waitt, of Trevandrum, who 
in the summer of 1894 took charge of the important work at 
Trichur, wrote thus of it : 

" From a spiritual point of view, Trichur is a veritable strong- 
hold of the enemy. But the Misses Coleman have done a 
wonderful work here. Many high-caste women converts are 
living in our compound, who have become Bible-women, and 
who are now working for the Master. Others, who come from 
the lower castes and wish to become Christians, are taken into 
the Industrial School to learn mat-making or to beat paddy, 
etc., during their probation. There are some twenty women 
and children living in or around this compound." 

Though we have rapidly scanned most of our village centres, 
how much remains untold ! — facts stranger than fiction, trials 
of faith and triumphs of grace — that would make an almost 
interminable record. But our glance will not be in vain if, as 
we look at some of India's countless villages, we hear the cry of 
India's village women, " Come over and help us ! " For that 
cry is growing louder as the days multiply. Each new worker 
takes up and echoes the same ringing invocation, until it 
reverberates, as it were, from station to station, in one long, 
loud agonising appeal. And from Heaven itself the Voice of 
the Triune God is calling, 

"Whom shall I send ? and who will go for US ? " 
Whom? Who? 



CHAPTER VII 

Indian Women their own Evangelists 

"She went away and called her sister, saying, The Master is come, 
and calleth for thee." — St. John xi. 28. 

"The native workers need our prayers as much as the missionaries 
who go forth from home. Though the climate and the general sur- 
roundings do not equally try them, they have to face the same labour, 
the same or equally great temptations, the same disappointments as 
the European missionary, and they need no less than she does a large 
measure of the grace of God. How much have we prayed for them ? " 
— Georgina A. Gollock. 



is a very remarkable fact," says Dr. Pierson, 
"that the native converts in every land 
where Missions have been established have, 
within one generation, furnished five times 
as many evangelists, teachers and native 
helpers as the original missionary force. If 
the Church could be aroused to such holy 
effort as could at once ensure the sowing 
of the whole world-field within fifty years, 
the number of native converts that would 
take up the work of Missions among their 
own countrymen might make unnecessary all foreign missions 
in the Church." 

The C.E.Z.M.S. has ever looked upon its growing band 
of native women workers as an indication of its vitality and 
strength. To-day (1897) it sees 700 Bible- women and native 
teachers upon its rolls, and takes up the inspired Apostle's 

118 




INDIAN WOMEN THEIR OWN EVANGELISTS 119 

words concerning such fellow-labourers, "I thank my God 
upon every remembrance of you." Of many it may truly be 
said, "Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also 
in power and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance, . . 
and ye became followers of us and of the Lord, having re- 
ceived the Word in much affliction with joy of the Holy Ghost, 
so that ye were ensamples to all that believe . . . for from 
you sounded out the Word of the Lord." 

The training of Bible-women is perhaps one of the most 
important of all branches of C.E.Z.M.S. It is impossible in 
these pages even to glance at the various training stations, 
but a description of a Training Class at Palamcottah, begun in 
1895, will tell something of the methods pursued. 

" Will you just take a peep into the drawing-room of a 
Mission bungalow ? About seven women all look up brightly, 
and, rising from their cross-legged position on the floor, give a 
hearty salam. The teacher has, perhaps, the happiest face 
and brightest greeting of all. These are the members of our 
Bible-women's Training Class, who make this room their school- 
room, for there is no other. 1 

"The need of training our Bible-women more efficiently has 
long been on our hearts. The Master wants the best instru- 
ments for His work. Often these women meet with hard 
questions, and they must be ready to answer, and able to give a 
reason of the hope within them. Some supporters of Missions 
question the use of secular education. An earnest native 
Christian, now gone to his rest, had his mind first opened to 
see the falseness of his religion by reading geography and 
finding that there were no seas of ' ghi,' or milk, as he had 
been taught ! Practical teaching on simple hygiene must be 
of use in a country where the simplest rules of health are 
unobserved and unknown. In everything the one object is 

1 A large class-room has since been built by C.E.Z.M.S. in the Mission 
compound. 



120 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

kept in view, to make the students more fit instruments for 
future work. 

"A catechist gives the Scripture instruction, his wife, a trained 
teacher, taking the secular work. Twice a week, towards the 
end of their time of training, the women go out with some of 
the experienced Bible-women to be tested as to their power of 
imparting knowledge. In the Home, untidy habits and use- 
less customs are quietly reproved. Day by day the bond 
between teachers and learners grows stronger, until they be- 
come one united family. 

" The story of the first woman to leave the little band as a 
full-fledged Bible-woman is not without its pathos. It was a 
step which cost. 

" A letter from Ootacamund — a distant place — with a plea for 
a Bible-woman could not be refused. The only member of the 
Training Class equal to the work is called out. ' Remember, 
this may be God's call ; go and think about it, and give your 
answer to-morrow.' A sorrowful face goes back to the beloved 
class. 

" The next morning this woman presented herself with the 
quietly spoken words, ' I will go.' She knew nothing about 
wages, except that her wants would be supplied. She knew 
that the villages close to her, where she had worked before, 
were waiting expectantly for her, but, like many an English 
woman, she knew that her place at home could be filled more 
easily. The pastor and his wife from Ootacamund were re- 
turning from their furlough, and the would-be teacher had to 
leave under their escort four days after the ' I will go ' had 
been said. There was an old mother, of whom farewell must 
be taken, and an only child to leave behind, a delicate little 
fellow, needing boarding-school life. 

" A short dismissal meeting was held the night before. The 
new Bible-woman, the first-fruits of the class, must be a true 
missionary! Few farewell gatherings have been more im- 



INDIAN WOMEN THEIR OWN EVANGELISTS 121 

pressive ; prayers, dedication, bright and earnest words from 
the pastor, and a hymn for workers sung by the class. The 
next day there was a little crowd at the station, and then 
came the good-bye salam, the mother and child standing 
with their hands clasped together as if they could not part. 

" Not a pretty child, this little son of our missionary Bible- 
woman, and with a reputation for being 'rather a mischievous 
boy ' j but only eight years old, and with a warm, loving little 
heart," wrote Miss Ridsdale. " If you had seen his half-dazed 
look of rigid pain as his mother finally unclasped his hands 
from her own at the railway station, and left him, and after- 
wards as he watched the train disappearing, your sympathies 
could not fail to be enlisted. It was arranged that he should 
come to me at five o'clock that day and write a little letter to 
his mother. I had to go out, and as I feared I might not be 
punctual in returning, I left pencil and note-paper on my table. 
When I came home, I found him waiting with the letter 
written — just such a little, brave, manly letter as a wee white 
laddie might write to his absent mother, telling her that she 
' must not be sorry about him, for he had not cried so very 
much, and that she must be brave also and pray to God for 
him, as he would for her, and that he was going to be a very 
good boy.' " 

In Calcutta, the devotion of the Bible-women to their work 
is very real. In speaking of them, Miss Hunt says : " Signs of 
age in some make me wonder what we shall do when their 
time of rest arrives. But I firmly believe that when that day 
comes, none of them will go empty-handed into the presence 
of the King. The other day Rebecca was visiting a Zenana. 
When she went in, a vendor of grass 'chooris,' or bracelets 
which the Bengali women are fond of wearing, was sitting near 
by, and said rather rudely, ' What do you come for ? Who is 
Jesus?' A little 'Bow,' i.e., young wife, took up the word 
before the Bible-woman could answer. ' Who is Jesus ? Jesus 



i22 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

is the Son of God.' Immediately a discussion arose among 
the women of the house, but she kept to her point, giving the 
reasons for her belief, and finishing thus : ' I do not care what 
you say. I shall always believe in Him as the Son of God.' 
Rebecca remarked afterwards, 'She preached so well that I 
said nothing, but only listened quietly.' " 

The Converts' Home at Barrackpore, like the Calcutta Nor- 
mal School, is a handmaid to all the C.E.Z. stations in North 
India. Our devoted missionary, Miss Good, whose successful 
work in India began more than twenty-five years ago, has had 
the joy of seeing converts returning to their own villages to 
assist in schools held in their own homes ; of witnessing, in 
one instance, the baptism of a woman, for ten years under in- 
struction, who, in spite of all the opposition of Brahmans and 
others, was enabled to return at once to her own home, resum- 
ing her place in the household (a most unusual circumstance); 
and who so faithfully witnessed for Christ, that her two sons — 
one in early manhood — have also been baptised ; whilst, shortly 
afterwards, her husband — won by her prayers and consistent 
life — was received into the outward fold of Christ. 

Converts from any Missionary Society are welcomed to this 
refuge for those who wish to give up all for Christ's sake ; and 
the life of each one is watched with interest. During the first 
eleven years of its existence, more than fifty women were re- 
ceived into it, and these have been carefully taught and 
trained. Some were appointed as teachers in one or other of 
the twelve thriving Mission Schools around Barrackpore; 
others have become medical students at Calcutta, or pupil- 
teachers in Mission Boarding Schools ; but each and all are 
alike imbued with the one burning desire to win their country- 
women for Christ. At the close of 1895, five women, among 
them two young widows, who had been under instruction in 
the Barrackpore Home, were baptised ; and a further joy to our 
workers in 1896 was the fact that God had given them, as 



INDIAN WOMEN THEIR OWN EVANGELISTS 123 

head teacher, one who herself, some years ago, was a convert 
from Hinduism. "We have had many teachers for this class," 
says Miss Good, " but for one so specially suitable we thank 
God." An inmate then under her care was a girl of only fif- 
teen, who had been married at two-and-a-half years old, and 
became a widow at seven years of age ! 

As an instance of the sharp trial of faith which many a 
convert undergoes in the Barrackpore Home, the following 
was related by a worker a short time since : — 

"Two years ago, Giri's relatives tried hard to persuade her 
to come back and to forsake Christ. Her father then came 
again and again to see her, but has neither written nor enquired 
after her since. During this year her mother died. This was 
a terrible grief to Giri, who had never seen her since the day, 
eighteen months before, when she, the mother, came over in a 
closed carriage to Barrackpore to try to induce her daughter 
to come back. She occasionally hears of her relatives 
through a married sister. The letters are affectionate, yet 
nearly always contain such sentences as the following : — ' Why 
do you want your father's present address ? Have you not 
brought disgrace enough on him and on us all ? To see your 
handwriting, or even to hear your name, does but renew his 
sorrow. You are as dead to us. Only I, who cannot quite 
give up my affection for you, feel I must write sometimes. Do 
not expect more than this.'" 

Miss Collisson tells of the value she attaches to the work of 
native fellow-labourers in her itinerating campaigns around 
Krishnagar, Nadiya, and Santipur. The Bible-women, some 
of whom are experienced village preachers, and some, recent 
converts, walk long distances uncomplainingly, and meet our 
missionaries at the entrance of the villages. Old Dubi's 
knowledge of the Bible and her apt readiness in meeting the 
arguments of Hindus and Muhammadans are astonishing. 
She takes their objections point by point, giving numerous 



i2 4 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

quotations from the Prophets, reading portions to prove the 
word spoken (she knows exactly where to find them), and 
then, putting down her Bible, she looks stedfastly at the 
arguers with the challenge, "Brother, answer that if you 
can ! " and with outstretched arms she waits for their answers, 
until sometimes they slink away from her earnest gaze. 
il Dubi has a wonderful power, such as I have never seen," 
says Miss Collisson, " in any other preacher, man or woman." 

The reality of the constraining power of Christ's love in the 
hearts of these dear native workers is sometimes touchingly 
shown. 

" Our Bible-woman, Nestarini," wrote Miss Dawe some time 
ago, "has for years longed and prayed for an opportunity to 
go among her own people (Hindus), and tell them of her 
Saviour. Much to her delight, she was able to go there during 
the puja holidays this year, provided with a quantity of tracts, 
picture leaflets, and Bible portions. Before starting, she 
asked every one to pray for a blessing on her visit and her 
work. I had a most interesting letter from her some days 
later. After telling me how warmly she had been welcomed 
by all her people, and how kind the Christian family were who 
had received her as a guest, she said, ' My mouth has not had 
one day's rest.' She spoke faithfully to large numbers of her 
own and her husband's relatives and friends, and returned with 
a greater desire than ever that we should go and work among 
the people of that village." 

In the Medical Mission stations, and especially in con- 
nection with the Open-air Dispensary, the Bible-woman is an 
invaluable helper. Miss G. Gollock, in A Winter's Afails, thus 
relates her experiences as an eye-witness of the group of 
patients surrounding the Ratnapur Dispensary, Nadiya. " The 
Bible-woman was speaking to them. Instantly I had a strong, 
deep sense that God the Spirit Himself was there and at 
work. It was very solemn and wonderful. The Bible-woman, 



INDIAN WOMEN THEIR OWN EVANGELISTS 125 

whose life bears out her words, was talking simply and 
lovingly, as one would readily gather from her tones, and the 
dear, simple, hard-worked women were drinking in. Some of 
the faces were wonderful ; it seemed, too, as if the hearts were 
willing, though the poor minds were dull and slow. As I 
write, the face of one woman, middle-agsd and careworn, rises 
before me. She was straining every power to grasp what the 
Bible-woman said ; and if ever a face indicated thirst and utter 
willingness to take hold of the Water of Life, that dear brown 




THE BIBLE-WOMEN S BOAT— NUDDEA. 



face did. Other women glanced aside at us ; this woman, I 
believe, had caught some glimpse of Christ, and her soul was 
going after Him." 

Most graphic is the way in which some of these Indian 
women evangelists illustrate their subject. Of one in the 
Jabalpur district, Miss Branch says : 

" I was sitting near her one day while she was telling the 
women about the miraculous draught of fishes. She said : 
' While the fishes were in the water they were not sensible 



126 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

that they were there, but when they were being drawn up in 
the net they began to feel uncomfortable and to say, " Hai ! 
hai ! what a sad condition is mine ! " So men, when they are 
drowned in sin, do not think about their danger ; they are as 
happy as the fishes in the sea. But when their hearts are 
touched by the Holy Spirit, and by hearing the words written 
in God's Holy Book, then they begin to be uneasy and to say, 
" Hai ! hai ! what a sad state is mine ! " ' " 

Space would fail us to tell of the noble work in which 
the staff of Bible-women at Amritsar is engaged. But a few 
words from Miss Hewlett's pen give a glimpse of a unique 
evangelist. 

" A peculiarly bright, happy-looking girl of about eighteen, 
sitting down at the beginning of the morning in one of our 
Amritsar Dispensaries, with her large Gospel of St. Matthew, 
in Dr. Moon's system of raised characters for the blind, open 
on her knees ; she can see nothing, but her fingers move 
swiftly across the page, and she begins to read better than 
some persons who have the use of their eyes ! As the morn- 
ing goes on, all the sick who come for medicine will listen 
with astonishment and pleasure, and she will have oppor- 
tunities of witnessing for Jesus to those who ask her a reason 
of the hope that is in her. She was once herself in the 
darkness of Muhammadanism, and in the Blind School 
found Christ. She is now a rejoicing and consistent 
Christian. Do you think that as we stood and watched her 
delight in reading the comfortable words of our Saviour 
Christ, we asked ourselves if to bring such to the Lord were 
work worth doing} Rather is it not work which angels might 
envy ? " 

To Miss Hewlett also we are indebted for the following 
pathetic story : 

"More than forty years ago, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, one of the 
first missionaries in Amritsar, opened the first little school for 



INDIAN WOMEN THEIR OWN EVANGELISTS 127 



girls. Two Muhammadan girls attended it, but were kept so 
strictly in pardah that their father only allowed them to go 
when Mrs. Fitzpatrick took a house next door to his own, and 
made a door in the wall for their use. She greatly attracted 
them by her loving, gentle ways, and she taught them to read. 
When she left Amritsar— never to return — they became care- 
less, and to a great extent forgot their early impressions. Not 
until the year 1881 did they truly turn to God, and then He 
found them and brought them to Himself, through the instru- 




A BLIND BIBLE-WOMAN. 

mentality of the Medical Mission, in the great pestilence which 
visited Amritsar that year. 

" After their baptism they began learning to read again, 
and it was surprising how quickly their old knowledge came 
back. Their baptismal names were Lydia and Phoebe. Both 
were soon put into training as Bible-women and nurses, and 
for several years both laboured diligently, and with many 
marked instances of blessing, in bringing others to Jesus. 
Lydia died in 1892, and it is a delightful fact, as showing her 



123 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

real love for the work and zeal in it, that during a long, weary 
1 breaking-up ' time, in a hopeless illness, though she rested in 
the afternoons, often partially unconscious (from fatigue and 
weakness), yet she insisted on dressing every morning and 
going to her work as Bible-woman at a dispensary. On the 
last day she said, ' No, Miss Sahiba, don't detain me ; just for 
to-day, I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the 
Lord ' ; and she bravely went, and read and sang ! Coming 
back, she lay down to die, so happy ! 

" Phoebe still works on, weak, but just as bright and brave." 
Miss Dewar has told exquisitely the story of 'Mai' (/.*., 
mother) Susan, the veteran Punjabi Bible-woman, as "A Child 
of Long Ago." This oldest convert of the Amritsar Mission, 
a high-caste Brahman woman, was an indefatigable witness 
for God among the children, in the Zenanas, and, in later 
years, among the neglected women of the villages around 
Amritsar. She was winning in manner, and as sweet-tempered 
as she was faithful and skilful in argument with her Hindu 
and Muhammadan sisters, whilst our itinerating missionaries 
found in her a devoted and spiritually-minded companion. 
" Everybody loved her. From the toil-worn grannie down to 
the noisy, dirty little children, all looked upon Mai Susan as 
their special friend. And when she passed away in 18S9, all 
mourned her loss." Her name is still a household word in 
many a Punjabi village. 

As one of the foremost among native Christian women- 
workers in South India, we must mention Mrs. Hensman, 
(daughter of the late Rev. W. T. Satthianadan, B.D.), who is 
devotedly labouring for the good of Hindu women in Madras. 
As Hon. Lady Superintendent of a band of native Bible- 
women, whom she herself has trained, she is winning her 
Indian sisters for Christ throughout that neighbourhood, and 
her recently published Report abounds with interesting tokens 
that the leaven of the Gospel is surely, though secretly, raising 



INDIAN WOMEN THEIR OWN EVANGELISTS 129 

the thoughts, feelings, and aspirations of Zenana inmates. 
When we read of a Harvest Thanksgiving Service at which a 
table is filled with the freewill offerings of our Hindu sisters ; — 
one woman giving her ear-rings set with precious stones ; — 
when we are told of a social gathering of some 150 Hindu 
ladies and 100 children held in Mrs. Hensman's house at the 
beginning of this year (1897) ; and, more especially, when we 
know that on the same spot, a few months later, she was able 
to convene a T.Y.E. Conference of native Christian ladies, at 
which a Hindu widow spoke for some fifteen minutes, with 
deep emotion, of the blessing of direct evangelistic work in 
the Zenanas, we may well exclaim with Mrs. Hensman, " This 
is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes ! " 

From Tinnevelly, in which province there are fifty-four 
C.E.Z.M.S. Bible-women at work, Amurtham, a Bible-woman 
who has itinerated among Coolie women in the Nilgiris and 
in the Wynaad — the high tableland near Ootacamund, where 
Miss Wallinger so long laboured — has written of her own 
work thus : 

" For many years, by the arrangement of our Lady Super- 
intendent, we have been preaching the Gospel to many 
different castes and selling Bibles to them, staying for two 
or three months together in the different villages. For the 
three months of March, April, and May (1891) we were in the 
Surandei district, and preached to the poor people in Utran- 
cottai, and in the village of Sambootoo near it. Before this 
only one family came to church. As most of the people are 
small farmers, we used to go at five o'clock in the morning, 
and at seven o'clock in the evening, to preach and sing to them. 
After singing hymns we found that the people listened much 
more willingly to Bible stories. The women would come in 
numbers to hear us. Many wished to change their heathen 
names ; and when we told them about the great privilege of 
baptism, they were all anxious to receive it. The congrega- 

K 



i3o 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



tion and pastor asked permission from the missionary to have 
these people prepared for baptism. We remained, teaching 
them daily for two months ; and on the 12 th of July the Rev. 
T. Kember and the Rev. Anthony James came and baptised 
sixty-eight people— twenty-four men, twenty women, and twenty- 
four children." 




At Trichur, where seven Bible-women are now at work, 
much of the good seed of the Gospel has been scattered 
solely by their hands. One of these native workers, Elizabeth, 
will take the Message to no fewer than 4,700 people in the 
year, chiefly high-caste women \ while another Bible-woman, 
Rahel, toils amongst the scattered houses and villages far 
away from the high roads, thinking nothing of fatigue if only 
souls can be won. As a sample of the kind of argument 
which these native teachers skilfully wield, the following may 
be cited : 

One day, a woman was talking about going on a pilgrimage 
to some distant shrine. The Bible-woman asked her, "Will 



INDIAN WOMEN THEIR OWN EVANGELISTS 131 

going on a pilgrimage and bathing in the great river at 
Kashi — i.e., Benares — clea?ise the heart} Do not people sin 
after going to Kashi? If your gold necklace were bent or 
broken, would you wash it or scour it ? No ; you would take 
it to the goldsmith, to the man who made it. So, if your 
heart is wrong, you must take it to God who made it." 

Again, speaking to an old woman who had told her of the 
death of a boy the day before, "As from the mango tree 
there fall to the ground flowers, buds, green and ripe fruit, so 
young and old fall by death. You are now very old, and must 
soon fall; therefore must you seek salvation at once." The 
old woman said, " What must I do ? If I am pious, is not 
that enough? " " No," replied Elizabeth. " Suppose a person 
owes you some money, and, when asked to pay the debt, says 
that he will never borrow again ; will that be enough ? So, if 
our sins are unpardoned, what is the good of being religious ? 
We must first pray for the forgiveness of our sins through 
Jesus Christ the Mediator. If we offer our prayers to God 
through Him, He will forgive all our sins. After this we 
should lead a pious life, and for this we must ask for grace 
from God. In order to pray to God you need not go to 
Kashi; you can pray at home, in your own house. There- 
fore pray now, seek salvation at once ; for now is the accepted 
time." 

Among our missionaries to-day we thankfully reckon many 
Indian women of good birth, refinement, and education. 
Henry Martyn thought that it would be a miracle if a 
Brahman became a Christian. What would he have said 
could he have foreseen that the daughter of a Brahman con- 
vert would, within the century, have been able to plead with 
English ladies to help their perishing sisters ? Yet in India 's 
Women for July, 1897, appeared the substance of an address, 
given at the C.E.Z.M.S. annual meeting at Calcutta, by Mrs. 
Chowdhury, the daughter of a high-caste Brahman convert, 



i 3 2 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

and the widow of Dr. Kali Prosonno Chowdhury, who, since 
1885, has been devoting herself to efforts for the spiritual 
welfare of her countrywomen at Bardwan and Howrah. We 
quote some of her stirring words, as they fall with peculiar 
power from the lips of an Indian lady : 

" Our lines have fallen in pleasant places, and we have a 
grave responsibility, a duty which we owe to India. The 
Hindus and Muhammadans know no difference yet between 
the professing Christian and the true servant of Jesus. . . . 
They will not read the life of Jesus for a holy example, but 
form their opinion of Him by your life and mine. . . . 
Some will go as far as to say that ' mission work is a failure.' 
I should have been a Hindu and a worshipper of idols to-day, 
had not the Gospel of Jesus been brought to our land. . . . 
We believe that the Holy Spirit is secretly working in many 
hearts, and, though we see only a few baptisms, l that Day' will 
reveal what the unceasing prayers, tears, and labours of our 
English brothers and sisters have done for India and her 
people. . . . Dear English and Bengali friends, have we 
no part in this glorious work ? With regard to the hungry 
multitude, our dear Master said to His disciples, ' Give ye 
them to eat.' He says the same to-day; but not until we 
yield what is already in our possession can He work through 
us and with us to feed the hungry thousands with the Bread 
of Life. The Master asks from us the " five loaves and the 
two fishes." May we hear His voice speaking to us now, 
and calling us into partnership in the glorious work ! 

" ' For we must share if we would keep 
That good thing from above ; 
Ceasing to give, we cease to have — 
Such is the law of love."' 

That consecrated, refined, intelligent, and educated Indian 
women are the fittest evangelists to their own sisters there can 
be no doubt. God is raising up a noble band of such workers 



INDIAN WOMEN THEIR OWN EVANGELISTS 133 

from the ranks of the down-trodden, imprisoned Hindu and 
Muhammadan women in answer to the prayers, and as a 
reward to the unceasing labours, of their European missionary 
sisters. A passing mention must be made, ere we close our 
chapter, to the honoured names of Christian Indian lady 
missionaries upon our roll-call, past and present, whose in- 
fluence is permeating Zenana life to-day, lifting it upward, 
heavenward, CiiRiSTward. 

Has it been in vain that our missionaries of long ago 
plunged into the darkness of Zenana homes, and, lifting the 
pardah of ignorance, sin, and suffering in the name of Christ, 
let in a flood of life-giving light upon the tear-stained faces of 
their secluded sisters ? Let the life histories of such as the 
Lady Harnam Singh, Mrs. Golakhnath, and Mrs. Satthia- 
nadhan, with their accomplished daughters, Mrs. Chowdhury, 
and her sister Mrs. Chatterji, Mrs. Mitter, Ellen Lakshmi 
Goreh, and many another, whose names are too numerous to 
mention here, teach us to pray that thousands of Indian 
women, by God's grace, may quickly become evangelists to 
the women of their native land. So shall India be won for 
Christ. 



CHAPTER VIII 

India's Girls for Christ! 

•' How sweet 'twill be at evening 

If you and I can say, 
• Lord Jesus, we've been seeking 

The lambs that went astray ; 
Heart-sore and faint with hunger, 

We heard them making moan, 
And lo ! we come at nightfall 

And bear them safely home ! ' " 

HRISTIAN schoolwork arches 
India like a magnificent rainbow 
of hope." Would that we could 
tell a long, unbroken story of 
each spot on that large, dark 
continent where this arch springs 
and rests ! Hopeless as we may 
be tempted to feel when we 
glance at the masses of sunken, 
superstitious Hindu womanhood, 
despairing as some may be 
regarding the fanatical Muhammadan adult, we cannot be 
sceptical of results among the thousands of the bright, im- 
pressionable children, who, at their own earnest entreaties, are 
crowding our Mission schools. From the tiny Village School 
to the City College for Girls, let us trace how the leaven of 
the Kingdom is working, " taken " and " hid " by wome??s 
hands "till the whole is leavened.'' 

Our village schools in the Punjab would certainly startle a 

134 




INDIA'S GIRLS FOR CHRIST! 135 

School Board teacher in England ! Frequently an old crip- 
pled woman acts as recruiting sergeant, hobbling round to 
fetch the children, whom she will drag straight out of bed, 
unwashed, unfed. It is not the custom here to change clothes 
at night, and the daily toilet is almost nil. Hair-dressing, in 
the innumerable tiny plaits which is the Punjabi fashion, is 
far too long a process to be performed oftener than once a 
week. The mothers are seldom energetic enough to cook 
the food before school-time, i.e., ten o'clock in the cold 
season and seven o'clock in the hot weather. So the children 
are hungry when they arrive, and soon want to run home for 
a meal, or have their food brought to them. This is generally 
a flat wheaten cake, 'chhapati,' with some curds. If they 
are Hindus, they retire into a corner, sometimes behind a bed- 
stead standing on end, to avoid any defiling touch or shadow 
while eating. 

In this schoolroom all the children sit on the floor, which 
is covered with matting, and the elder ones are provided with 
benches for desks. The tinies use their fingers as pens, and 
write on sand-boards ; the next grade use white mud on black 
wooden slates, with reed pens ; the older ones have white 
wooden slates and Indian ink, which readily washes off ; while 
the most advanced write on paper. 

The head teacher sits on a low chair, the frame of which is 
covered with red sealing-wax ; while her assistants have plain 
four-legged stools with rope seats. The children like to read 
in a monotonous chant, rocking themselves to and fro all the 
time, and to prepare their lessons aloud and all together. 
Quietness is an unknown art, difficult for both teachers and 
children to acquire ; yet it is being instilled. 

Hindu children call their teacher " Sister," or ' Bahin-ji,' 
which they are always bleating out like a little flock of goats. 
"Bahin-ji, there is no mud in my ink-pot I" " Bahin-ji, Gango 
is pinching me ! " or " she has pulled my ear-rings ! " etc., etc. 



136 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

The regularity of attendance, too, leaves much to be desired. 
Inquiry is made for one child — she has gone to a wedding, or 
a mourning; for another — she has fever, or "her eyes have 
come," i.e., she has an attack of ophthalmia ; for a third — " she 
has fallen off the roof.' One has gone on pilgrimage to some 
sacred bathing-place, another is " carrying mud." A mother 
comes to fetch her child to go to some religious ceremony ; 
or, on a particular day in the year, to be worshipped (!), when 
she will return with a patch of red paint on her forehead. 1 
There are also numerous festivals, when the schools must be 
closed altogether. 

The ages of our pupils vary from three or four to thirty or 
forty years, or even more. The elder ones are nearly always 
widows, or forsaken wives, who come to learn in order to earn 
a livelihood as teachers. It is quite a common thing for a 
mother and daughter to be taught in the same school, and 
even in the same class. 

As long ago as 1885 Miss Dewar wrote cheerily of the 
large Girls' School at Amritsar, in the building lent by the 
Sikh Sardani. 

" 'What bright, happy faces ! ' visitors exclaim on seeing our 
pets. They are ; yet let us peep into their hearts, if we can. 
Here, glittering in the sunlight, is a little child-bride, proudly 
showing off her jewels to a circle of admiring playmates ; 
there, in a dark corner, is a poorly-dressed little creature, 
sadly peering out from beneath her cotton chaddar, who has 
come back to school again because she is a widow ! 

" Let us tell them a story — the story of Moses. How readily 
they imagine the grief of the Hebrew mothers when the com- 
mand has gone forth to kill the boys. i They cry loud and 

1 There is one day in the year when it is the custom in the Punjab 
to worship unmarried Hindu girls. The worshipper proceeds in the 
same way as in worshipping an idol — presenting offerings of sweetmeats, 
etc., to her, and putting a daub of red paint upon her forehead. 



INDIA'S GIRLS FOR CHRIST! 137 

long when a boy dies, but very little if it is only a girl,' says 
a sweet wee thing, who ought to be a home pet. And how 
wondering and wistful the big eyes look when we tell how 
much little English girls are loved ! 

" Poor child ! Over all her troubles, present and future, 
she has to bear such names as ' Akhi ' (weary), or ' Kauri ' 
(bitter), telling of the cold greeting which met her at first. 
Still, if there is anything in a name, we can read brighter tales 
elsewhere. Perhaps next to her sits ' Dhamie ' (the blessed), 
or ' Jai-kor ' (the princess of victory). 

"Let us take a peep at Mulo, the Punjabi teacher, in the 
midst of her work. We are in the courtyard before either the 
teacher or children are aware. Many injunctions have been 
given to work quietly, yet we can see some half-dozen wild 
little things running to and fro, screaming for a pen, or a 
slate, or quarrelling with some equally noisy ones over an 
ink-, or, rather, mud-pot But Mulo is equal to the occasion. 
Rising to her full height, she puckers her good-natured face 
into a frown and says ' Chup ! ' (silence) in so awful a tone 
that without more ado the mud-pot is left alone, the pens and 
slates are forgotten, and the little wranglers are all standing in 
a row. Then Mulo looks so graciously on her little troop 
that we cannot help forgetting, in such perfect stillness, that 
the rule was ever broken. 

"There are some interesting girls in the little band. One, a 
fat, comfortable-looking creature called ' Nikki,' used to come 
to school under false pretences. Telling her people that she 
was going to the Golden Temple to do puja, she ran off to 
have reading and writing instead. The trick was soon found 
out, but happily no hindrance was put in her way. 

"There is something lovable in Mulo's funny face. One 
day, while listening to the children's Bible lesson, she said, 
1 Why don't you teach me?' ' Don't you hear what is being- 
taught in the school?' the missionary said. 'Yes,' said 



*3» 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



Mulo, 'but I cannot listen with my whole heart while the 
children are here.' Accordingly, after school hours, Mulo has 
a lesson in her own home. A short time ago, when the sub- 
ject to be studied was the Second Coming of Christ, Mulo 
looked thoughtful for awhile, and said, with real earnestness, 
1 I do want to know Him now, so that when He comes I may 
not be left behind.'" 

The value of the simple secular teaching given in our Mis- 
sion schools is sometimes strikingly evident. The elder girls 
are questioned, perhaps, on the piece of black stone, which 

they have been 
taught to hold sa- 
cred. " Why, Mem," 
they cry, " it's an in- 
animate object; how 
can it be God ? " 

Let us go into the 
class-room of a 
school near Barrack- 
pore, and listen to 
the catechising for a 
few moments. Here, 
under one teacher, 
are about twenty 
children, most of 
them eight or nine years old. All can read Bengali well 
enough to learn a verse of " The Old, Old Story " daily, and 
some can read Peep of Day fluently. It is past three o'clock ; 
each child has fastened up her little bundle of books, and 
placed them on the mat before her. Now they all stand up, 
and one of them hands us the Catechism specially prepared for 
Hindu children. Opening it somewhere in the middle, we 
ask : 

11 What is required that sin may be forgiven ?" 




A LITTLE SCHOOL NEAR KRISHNAGAR 



INDIA'S GIRLS FOR CHRIST! 139 

"Atonement," is the answer, with one voice. 

" What kind of atonement ? Will a few flowers and a little 
water do ? " 

" A perfect atonement, a sufficient atonement." " We don't 
think that flowers will do : all flowers are God's," adds an 
elder girl. 

" Can atonement be made by man ? " 

"No; because man is sinful." 

11 Can the priest make it ? " 

This is another home thrust. Some reply "Yes," others 
" No " ; so we continue : 

"Is the priest sinless? Has he never broken God's com- 
mandments ? " 

"Yes, every one has sinned; so of course he can't make 
atonement." 

" Why ? because he himself needs " 

" Needs atonement." 

" Has there ever been a sinless man ? " 

" The Lord Jesus Christ, Miss Sahiba." 

" Yes, He is both God and " 

" Man." 

" God and man. Then He can make atonement between 
God and man. Has He done so ? " 

Children all together, quoting from the Catechism : 

11 ' The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died upon the 
cross to make atonement for the sins of all the world.'" 

In speaking of a little school near Krishnagar, Miss Collis- 
son some time ago remarked on the brightness and intelligence 
of the children. "They hasten from one lesson to another 
in a breathless hurry, as if their little lives depended on 
making all possible speed, and putting down one book, with 
1 What next ? ' will pounce upon another, and begin to repeat 
a fresh lesson before the teacher has time to find her own 
place. They positively run races with sums, spelling, etc., 



i 4 o BEHIND THE PARDAII 

winding up by repeating page after page of a little book of 
poetry, of which they are extremely fond, and also the ' Old, 
Old Story.' Little Locki, the head girl, is very bright. In 
reading St. Matthew's Gospel, the words, ' My God, My God, 
why hast Thou forsaken Me ? ' took special hold of her mind, 
and she learned the whole passage by heart. One day I said, 
' Tell me, Locki, do you understand those words, and why do 
you think that they are so beautiful ? ' Her answer came 
readily enough: ' Why, He was suffering His Father's anger 
all for us, and it was so dreadful that He could not help 
calling out. That is why I think them so beautiful.' I wish 
I could convey to you the expression of intense feeling with 
which she said this, and how the meaning of the words seemed 
to have entered her heart. 

" In one of their favourite hymns there is a verse which runs 
thus : 

" ' Before, I was the servant of sin, . • • 
But now I am God's child.' 

I drew a pencil through the lines, saying, ' You cannot sing 
those words; they are only for Christ's little children to re- 
peat ' ; and you should have heard how they begged me not 
to make a mark through the verse, ' for,' said they, ' we do 
love Jesus, and we do want to serve Him, so those lines will 
do for us!'" 

For a moment let us glance at the Girls' Boarding School 
(C.M.S.), under Miss Bristow's care at Krishnagar. Miss A. 
Sampson (formerly in charge) tells us : 

" There are about forty little girls, whose homes are in the 
pretty brown mud huts in the villages around. They are the 
children of Christian parents, and the school was opened in 
1 89 1, with the special object of training and watching over 
the girls of the native Christian Church, in view of their be- 
coming the wives and mothers of the future Christian com- 
munity. The institution is worked on the simplest lines, 



INDIA'S GIRLS FOR CHRIST ! 



141 



with as little difference from the children's own home life and 
habits as possible. No shoes or stockings are worn ; no 
spoons or forks are used ; the beds are simply mats, spread out 
at night, but rolled up and laid aside during the day. There 
are no benches 01 forms, the pupils sit at the feet of their 
teacher. The ' three R's,' sewing, singing of hymns, cooking 
their simple meals, and the learning of other homely duties, 
form the code of instruction, with, of course, special Bible 
teaching. It is a happy home ; and if the workers' earnest 
prayer that every girl who enters may learn to love the Saviour 
be fulfilled, what may not be expected in days to come as each 
young life takes its place in 
the little Church of Christ 
in the Nadiya district of 
Bengal ? " 

The instances are not 
few in which these dear 
Bengali girls are ready 
to suffer persecution for 
Christ's sake. They have 
constantly to bear harsh 
treatment at home for neg- 
lecting to do puja. A little girl came one day to a Jabalpui 
school, under Mrs. Mukerji's care, with a severely bruised and 
swollen forehead. It was found that her father, having noticed 
that she had neglected for some time to prostrate herself before 
Kali, asked why she had neglected her devotions. " Father," 
she replied, "I have not neglected worship, I have prayed 
every day to Jesus Christ ; I do not pray to idols because I do 
not believe in them." This so enraged the father that he 
seized her by her hair, took her before the idol, and forcibly 
bent the child's head, striking it several times on the ground 
so violently that it bled profusely. 

No wonder that another Hindu father should say, " My 




i 4 2 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

child is saturated with Christianity ; her very books smell of 
Christ." And we need not be surprised to find that the 
Bengali newspapers lay complaints against such schools. 
" Before our children can read the Ramayan, they know the 
Bible down to the Flood, and of course everything about Jesus 
Christ. And they never forget it" 

But, though the heathen rage, " / will work, and who shall 
let it ? " At Majitha, in the Amritsar district, " the wrath of 
man " was lately, in a remarkable manner, made " to praise 
God," while " the remainder of wrath " He "restrained." The 
young teacher of our Werka village school, ' the firstfruits of 
the girls' school at Majitha ' (her home), was baptised, and her 
conversion caused great dismay and disturbance there. A 
man was hired to go round the village as a crier, to proclaim 
that if any one, Hindu, Sikh, or Muhammadan, dared to send 
his children to the Mission schools, he would not be allowed 
to drink water from the well, or to smoke a ' huqqa,' i.e., pipe, 
with his neighbours. But, after a time, the man seems to have 
forgotten his message, for he began to say instead that the 
teaching there was very good, and the children would get nice 
prizes ! Of course his employers were furious. Yet, since 
then, the head Sirdar of the place, a Sikh, has promised to give 
any piece of land our ladies choose for a bungalow; the 
school has recovered from the opposition, and now numbers 
fifty scholars. 

Of the work and worth of Mission schools amongst Muham- 
madan children we tell in a later chapter, The Daughters of 
Islam ; and it is the Moslems themselves who, in the vehem- 
ence of their denunciation, pay the highest tribute ! 

Many a sweet story could be told of the way in which tiny 
hands are sowing the Seed, often unconsciously, in dark 
corners where the older missionary may not penetrate. 
" Charniti, how is it you remember your hymn, ' There is a 
happy land,' so correctly?" "Oh," replied the little Sunday 



INDIA'S GIRLS FOR CHRIST! 143 

school girl of Bhagulpur, " I wrote it on the wall of our house 
to recollect it." At the Sarah Tucker Institution, little Thai 
and her sister Sundram were baptised at their own desire, 
and with their mother's full consent. Dear, bright little 
things, they evidenced real love to the Saviour, and begged 
their mother to be baptised also. " As she was very ignorant," 
says Miss Askwith, "we thought she had better wait awhile. 
During the long vacation, April and May, little Thai and Sun- 
dram taught their mother all they could, and I was quite sur- 
prised, when she came again, to find how much she knew. The 
way of salvation was quite clear to her, and her great wish 
seemed to be to follow the one true God and Saviour Whom 
her little girls had found. Though unable to read, she knew 
the Creed and Lord's Prayer perfectly, and the substance of 
the Ten Commandments. Her own children had taught her 
entirely. On Friday last, we had the great joy of witnessing 
her confess simple faith in Jesus by baptism in the Mission 
Church. It was quite touching to see the excited joy of the 
two little sisters." 

Sometimes the Good Shepherd folds these little Indian 
lambs of His very early, and verily takes them " away from the 
evil to come." Last autumn, little Atchari of Batala, a tiny pupil 
of A.L.O.E., was gathered Home. She was baptised on her 
death-bed at her most earnest request. Bright and happy in 
the full and perfect trust of her redemption through Jesus 
Christ, one morning she said to her Aunt Umri, a Bible-woman, 
" Did you see Him — Jesus ? He came all shining, and taking 
me by the hand, brought me before God, and said, ' Forgive 
this little one her sins.' I'm not a bit afraid to go." 

Picture to yourself a large double-storeyed house, built round 
two squares, open to the sky and containing several families. 
It is a night in June, the hottest month of the Indian year. 
All the inmates have retired to rest, either on the flat roof or 
in the open courtyard. Mother and child are lying side by 



144 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



side, and in the dead silence of the night, with the bright 
stars above, and many listening ears around, a lesson begins, 
the mother repeating after her child, word for word, the Second 
Commandment. Who can tell how many shall thus be led 
heavenward — "from idols to serve the living and true God, 
and to wait for His Son from heaven " ? 

If in each of our very numerous C.E.Z.M.S. schools scat- 
tered over India, one child becomes "like a little candle 




Ko*i>~^t*rTSv3U 



shining in the night" to illumine the darkness behind the 
pardah, who shall say that our labour among the little ones is 
" in vain in the Lord " ? 

Time and space would fail us to tell of the interest 
surrounding the village schools of Jabalpur with their simple- 
hearted, affectionate little pupils ; of the children of Mirat, 
whose studies are not unfrequently interrupted by an invasion 
of the sacred monkeys, " grinning behind the teacher's chair," 



INDIA'S GIRLS FOR CHRIST! 145 

and causing a general stampede ; of the little Muhammadan 
school-girl at Klarkabad who brought so many of her people 
to Christ; of the young student winners of the Baring 
Memorial Scripture Prize ; or of the encouraging school 
work at Batala, and the tiny school at Fathgarh, taught by a 
young convert ; of the almost insuperable difficulties to be 
overcome in teaching the children of Ajnala ; of the steadily 
growing girls' schools of Jandiala ; of the invaluable work done 
by the Bahawa Girls' Boarding School ; of the determined 
effort made to do away with Mission girls' schools in fanatical 
Peshawar, and how God has overruled it ; of the intelligent 
high-caste pupils at Karachi, in the Sindhi girls' school, or of 
the little schools in the Sukkur bazar and Baharwal Atari 
compound; and last, though not least, the teaching given 
to the little Kashmiri girls in all their unkempt loveliness and 
ignorance. 

But we must turn from village schools, with their fascinating 
stories, to glance at three great colleges which are centres of 
extreme interest. 

About three miles from the English quarter of Calcutta, and 
in just the centre of the Hindu population of the town, there 
is a large square, around which cluster many memories of 
missionary work and workers. It is, perhaps, about the size 
of Lincoln's Inn Fields, but, except for the fact that it is 
enclosed by an iron railing, Comwallis Square is altogether 
unlike its London prototypes. 

The centre is occupied by a large tank, with grassy slopes 
to the water's edge, but innocent of buttercup or daisy. Still, 
mignonette and other familiar English flowers are to be found 
in the gardens during the cold weather, while palms and plan- 
tains are reflected in the water. Passing Christ Church and 
its parsonage, now occupied by the C.M.S. Boarding School 
for Christian Girls, we come to the gate of the Bethune School 
for non-Christians, where the teaching is strictly secular, under 

L 



i 4 6 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

Government survey, and whose pupils are almost all members 
of the Brahmo-Samaj. 1 On the opposite side of the tank we 
have the Scottish General Assembly Institute, connected in 
our minds with the honoured name of Dr. Duff; and lastly 
we come to the Church of England Zenana Mission Normal 
School,— the cradle of the infant C.E.Z.M.S. 

A sketch of its history has been given to us already (see 
Introductory). Like the pebble thrown into the pool, it has 
been making an ever-widening circle. Opened as long ago as 
1852 for training as teachers the daughters of European and 
Eurasian parents, to-day there is scarcely a Mission in North 
India that does not owe some of its best workers to this noble 
Institution. Forcible facts in its favour have reached us in 
the life-stories of its pupils, since the saintly Louisa Gomez 
was in their ranks until the present day. 

The glass windows of a beehive can hardly disclose a scene 
of greater activity than that witnessed in our Mission Boarding 
Schools. During the winter of 1894 Miss Billington, in send- 
ing home articles to The Daily Graphic on ■ Woman in India,' 
wrote thus of a glimpse she gained behind the scenes : 

"Among the mission agencies most earnestly and ener- 
getically at work in Calcutta, the Church of England Zenana 



1 The Brahmo Samaj is an attempt of some Hindu reformers to revive 
ancient Hinduism. They say that modern Hinduism is the corruption of a 
belief in the worship of the one supreme God : that image worship, caste, 
the pardah system, infant marriage and widowhood, and other hindrances 
to the work of missionaries, are the unworthy accretions which this creed 
has gathered in descending, from century to century, further from the truth. 
It will be easily understood that the freedom to take in new ideas, which 
men and women of this creed enjoy, opens the way for evil as well as good. 
The daughters of some of the leading gentlemen of Calcutta are members 
of the Brahmo Samaj community. Many of them are earnest seekers after 
truth, and are in a sort of borderland between the darkness of Hinduism 
and the bright light of the Gospel. A Christian school for Brahmo girls is 
urgently needed. 



INDIA'S GIRLS FOR CHRIST! 



J 47 



Mission takes a leading place. Miss Hunt and Miss Sophia 
Mulvany carry on respectively the control of the Hindu and 
Muhammadan spheres of labour. 

"Miss Hunt, with a band of highly educated and devoted 
assistants— European, Eurasian, and Native— lives at and directs 
the Normal Training School. 
In the primary school section 
there are some hundred and fifty 
little Hindu girls in regular at- 
tendance. I think it is only fair 
to the Mission to state, that it 
honestly and straightforwardly 
warns all parents that their chil- 
dren will receive full Bible in- 
struction and be taught to sing 
Christian hymns. So certainly 
are the demands upon the school 



increasing, that fresh arrange- 



ments are being made in its 
training department to allow of 
more room in the college. The 
children read and write from dic- 
tation, and some questions in 
arithmetic which I put to them 
were answered, verbally and on {W«v™ 
their slates, with commendable \ ^^ ^1 
readiness and accuracy. At 
Miss Hunt's desire, I asked also 
for a proof or two of Bible learning, and my request for infor- 
mation on the story of Joseph and his brothers, and some of 
the miracles, received replies from these little Hindu girls 
which would have shamed many Sunday schools at home ; and 
they also repeated the Ten Commandments. In the Training 
School were some thirty girls, all Christians, and all, save four, 




i 4 8 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

the daughters of convert parents. The Mission, naturally, 
sends out none but Christian teachers, and the girls, for the 
most part, are boarders in the college, where their quarters are 
modelled entirely upon native lines. In respect neither of 
accommodation nor of food, are they allowed to form any habits 
which they could not maintain upon the salaries of nine to 
twenty rupees a month, which will be all that they can com- 
mand for some years. These young women have been specially 
well taught singing, and, indeed, theirs was the first part-sing- 
ing I heard in India. Miss Sampson was their teacher, and it 
is certainly to her and their credit to find them singing three- 
part choruses, and such an excerpt as Mendelssohn's 'Oh 
lovely peace,' which I heard them render with real taste and 
expression, and with wonderfully clear enunciation of the 
English words." 

Miss Hunt, the valued Lady Principal of this Normal 
School for more than fourteen years, contributes the following 
especially for our pages : 

11 There has been a great advance with regard to education 
among the Hindus since I remember Calcutta. Girls who 
can read and write, and have passed some examination, are 
preferred as wives, so that more interest is taken by the 
parents in their studies. Of course the early age at which 
they are married, prevents them from reaching to a high stan- 
dard, but, each year, a large number from our day schools meet 
at the Senate House for the Government examination — a 
thing that we should hardly have thought possible ten or 
twelve years ago. The children gain certificates at this 
examination which recommend them in the matrimonial 
market ! For a long time, a bridegroom who is F.A., B.A., 
or M.A. has been valued according to the number of passes, 
but it is a new thing for a girl to have such a recommendation ! 
We hope that it may be one of the forces working against the 
terrible custom of child marriage. 






INDIA'S GIRLS FOR CHRIST! 149 

" The superintendence of all the Hindu C.E.Z.M.S. schools 
in the city falls to us. For the most part they are held in the 
houses of Hindu gentlemen. We hire one or two rooms, 
often including the idol-house ! This hall is set apart for the 
worship of the idol only when the special puja day arrives. 
For the rest of the year it is empty, and, as it is not used by 
the family for other purposes, we can rent it. One of our 
schools has been held in the house of a Raja for many years, 
and the Rani and her family take the greatest interest in it, 
and will sometimes come into the schoolroom to listen to the 
Bible lesson and to the hymn-singing. 

11 Altogether we have about 800 children in our Hindu Day 
Schools, all receiving Scripture teaching, and we are sure that 
many of them have received the Truth into their hearts. 

"Among the Zenanas, there is a constantly increasing 
number of houses open to us for simple Bible teaching, where 
we need nothing besides to make us welcome. This is a very 
encouraging feature, and I believe the schools are, and have 
been, the means of bringing this about, to a very great ex- 
tent." 

In 1894 Miss Hunt was the recipient of a letter which bore 
high tribute to the work which God has permitted her to do. 
Written by the father of one of the Central School children — 
a dear girl who, while in the school, showed every sign of 
being a believer in Jesus Christ — it ran thus : 

" Dear Madam, — I am glad to inform you that my son-in- 
law, Dr. S. P. Sarbadhikari, is desirous to present annually a 
silver medal to the most successful girl in your Central School, 
who should pass the minor or other scholarships examination, 
as a gift in commemoration of the memory of his lamented 
wife, my daughter Nerojenee. He further wishes to present 
your said school, where his wife was educated, with an enlarged 
bromide portrait of the departed girl, to be, by your per- 
mission, hung up in your school hall. If you kindly accede to 



150 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

these proposals, please drop a line in reply. Yours sin- 
cerely ." 

It is needless to add that such gifts were gladly accepted ; 
and in 1895, at the distribution of prizes by Lady Elgin, the 
silver medal, presented for the first time, was won by a Chris- 
tian girl who had passed first in the Government examina- 
tion. 

For many years the training of young European and Eura- 
sian teachers was carried on at the Normal School ; but in 
1894 it became a separate branch of work, and a Missionary 
Training Home, now under Miss Ashwin's superintendence, 
was opened at Baranagore. The work of preparing young edu- 
educated women, acclimatised and familiar with one or more 
Indian dialects, to become assistant missionaries, cannot be 
too highly valued and extended. 

The daily routine of the students, who must be upwards of 
eighteen years of age, and who have received already a good 
English education, is modelled upon the lines of the C.E.Z.M.S. 
Training Homes in London. Each student must remain at 
least a year in the Home ; and if, after a term of probation, 
she still wishes to become a missionary, she signs an agree- 
ment, promising to work in connection with the C.E.Z.M.S. 
for a period of three years. 

The chief studies are the Bible and the Bengali language, 
but every student has some kind of teaching to do every day. 
In addition to a Practising School for the European children 
employed in the surrounding factories, a school for little Hindu 
girls is taught by the pupils in the Training Home. One 
result of the daily Bible teaching given by these students, was 
seen not long ago in the case of three little sisters who attended 
very regularly, and who, one day, confided to their young 
teacher : " We pray to Jesus now ; but mother gets angry, and 
won't let us pray to Him in the house, so we go down the 
lane and pray there." 



INDIA'S GIRLS FOR CHRIST! 151 

The students who have passed out of the Baranagore Train- 
ing Home are now successfully working, not only in that 
town, but in Calcutta, Krishnagar, Barrackpore, and else- 
where. Would that we had means to multiply such institu- 
tions among our stations ! 

Hard by the Golden Temple of the Sikhs, where their 
sacred book, the Granth, is watched over and worshipped, 
where Hindu temples are crowned with the trident, and the 
crescent glitters from many a mosque, Jesus has been made 
King in the hearts of some of India's fairest daughters. To- 
day, in Amritsar, God is using us to polish corner-stones for 
His Temple that is being reared surely, though slowly, in the 
sight of the heathen. 

The Alexandra Christian Girls' School at Amritsar, under 
the valued superintendence of Miss L. Cooper, C.E.Z.M.S., 
was founded in memory of the Prince of Wales' visit to the 
Punjab, to afford a sound high-class Christian education for 
the daughters of the upper class native Christians. 1 By his 
Royal Highness' request, it was called " The Alexandra," as a 
reminder to all our Indian fellow- subjects that the Queen- 
Empress and the Princess of Wales alike, were anxious that 
the girls of India should share all the advantages of the 
Christian education enjoyed by their English sisters. As a 
renewal of this kindly feeling, the Princess, shortly afterwards, 
sent beautiful portraits of herself and the Prince to be hung in 
the large hall of the Alexandra School. 

It was opened in November, 1879, and before the end of 
the year, thirty pupils had been enrolled. To-day the number 
has increased to sixty-three boarders. 

A veteran missionary and valued friend of C.E.Z.M.S., the 
Rev. R. Clark, in his interesting book Thirty Years in the 

1 The building belongs to the C.M.S. ; the school teachers to the 
C.E.Z.M.S. Miss Saw, C.E.Z.M.S., is head of tie educational depart- 
ment, 



152 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

Punjab, describes it as " an institution which has probably no 
parallel in Northern India, and one of which the Amritsar 
Mission may well be proud. The building is a pile of red 
brick, remarkably well planned and furnished with grand, airy 
dormitories and a fine large hall. One room has been nicely 
fitted as a chapel." 

The curriculum of study includes English, Urdu, Persian, 
Needlework, Domestic Economy, while all the higher branches 
of English study, mathematics, etc., are taught ; a Govern- 
ment inspection taking place once a year. The elder girls 
are also trained to teach, and, in turn, give object lessons to 
the little ones. Each elder girl has charge of a younger one, 
for whom she is responsible, helping her to prepare her lessons 
and looking after her in every way. 

As early as 1882, several of the Alexandra girls were be- 
ginning real missionary work. Two were going every day to 
the Amritsar Hospital to teach new converts, and finding great 
pleasure in it. Another was teaching three times a week in 
the City Schools. Two others were conducting a little Sunday 
school, in the verandah, for heathen children ; whilst another 
held a class for Ayahs. 

The next year the girls gave proof of their intelligence and 
facility for acquiring languages, by originating a monthly 
magazine, The Alexandra Magpie, in which most of the 
articles were written by themselves. 

In 1884 their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of 
Connaught, then in India, expressed a wish to see the Alex- 
andra Christian Girls' Boarding School, and were shown over 
the building by the Rev. R. Clark, Miss Swainson (then its 
Lady Principal), and other members of the Mission. The 
Duke seemed to be struck with the refined and ladylike 
appearance of many of the girls, for he had never before come 
in contact with any Indian women of the higher class. 

It was in that same year that the Alexandra girls began a 



INDIA'S GIRLS FOR CHRIST! 153 

Sunday school, entirely conducted by eight of the elder girls 
among the younger ones. It transpired quite accidentally, a 
few months later, that one of these girl teachers, of her own 
accord, had begun a daily prayer meeting with the children, in 
which many a little one took part. 

Thus God is graciously fulfilling the promise taken as the 
motto of the school, " All thy children shall be taught of the 
Lord." Many a cultivated Christian lady of India owes all 
that she is to-day to her holy, happy school time at " The 
Alexandra." 

There is probably no part of India more full of Heathen 
degradation and darkness than Tinnevelly. Signs of devil- 
worship abound everywhere. Yet, in this stronghold of Satan, 
a fortress for God has been raised. 

The C.M.S. Sarah Tucker College for 
Native Christian Girls at Palamcottah, 1 
is the largest girls' school in the whole 
of India. It is worked by C.E.Z.M.S. 
ladies, and for sixteen years Miss Ask- 
with has been the honoured Principal. 
In 1896 it was raised from the rank of 
Training Institution to the status of a 
Second Grade College, teaching up to 
the F.A. (First in Arts) Standard, cor- 
responding to the London Interme- 
diate, and was affiliated to the Madras University, the first 
college for women in the Madras Presidency. The first F.A. 
class was opened in February, 1896, by Miss C. E. Cowell, B.A. 
There are two hundred and eighty-nine boarders and about 
eighty day pupils in the parent building ; but the Institution is 
in reality a network of agencies, since it has no fewer than 

1 Established in 1868 as a memorial of Miss Sarah Tucker, sister of the 
Rev. J. Tucker, C.M.S. Missionary, Madras. 




154 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

thirty-six Branch Schools, two Boarding Schools, two Blind 
Schools, two Industrial Classes, a little School for Deaf and 
Dumb children, and a small Hospital. 

A large number of the children are those of Christian 
catechists and schoolmasters, while others have heathen 
parents who are, nevertheless, willing for them to be trained 
as schoolmistresses, sick nurses, or taught to gain their live- 
lihood by needlework. The girls study up to the same 
standards as English girls, but really work harder, since, 
if a student wish to earn a first-grade Normal Certificate, she 
is obliged to pass her Matriculation examination in English. 

Miss Walford bears testimony to the true Christian character 
of the pupils thus : 

"The Government Inspectress sometimes writes to us for 
teachers, and the salaries offered are good ; but, as Govern- 
ment teachers are forbidden to speak of religion, our girls will 
not bind themselves to be silent about Christ before their 
heathen sisters, as it is their chief delight to tell of the 
Saviour Whom they have found to those who do not know 
Him. Besides this, the main object of the College is to 
train the daughters of Southern India to become missionaries. 
And to-day, throughout Tinnevelly — a district the size of 
Yorkshire — Christian girls are to be found working earnestly 
and prayerfully as the mistresses of some fifty schools, atten- 
ded by 2,000 heathen children. 

" The girls have their own Gleaners' Band Monthly Mis- 
sionary Meeting, and at their daily prayer meetings it is sweet 
to hear them take up a special country and plead for it with 
God. The proceeds of their missionary working parties help 
to support the schools for the heathen children; and, from 
time to time, they will send parcels of their own needlework 
to the Foundling Home at Ku-cheng, to the Leper Home, 
Jerusalem, or even to Dr. Barnardo's Homes at Stepney. 

"Sunday schools, for both Hindu and Christian children, 



INDIA'S GIRLS FOR CHRIST! 155 

are an important feature of the 'Sarah Tucker' work, the 
teachers being Institution girls. Miss Swainson, for many 
years Miss Askwith's fellow-labourer, has herself lately opened 
one such school in Tinnevelly town, about four miles off. ' I 
take five of our elder girls in the bullock-bandy,' she says, 
{ and four Christian women meet us there, and we have very 
happy times with these dear little Hindu girls. Yesterday we 
had 156, only six being Christians.'" 

One incident may be given to show the indirect influence 
for good at work in this centre. During an outbreak of small- 
pox in the Sarah Tucker Institution, a heathen woman was 
engaged to help in nursing. She was filled with wonder 
because not one of the Christian girls had been afraid to die, 
and all the Christians were bright and happy. She returned 
to her village, but the impression remained, and she came 
back to learn of that Saviour Who had robbed death of its 
sting. Having found Him, she openly confessed herself His 
disciple ; she became a teacher, and now, under the superin- 
tendence of the C.E.Z. missionaries, she is telling her own 
people of Him Whose "perfect love casteth out fear." 

In addition to the young Widows' Embroidery Class at 
Suvisachapuram, is the Industrial Class at Palamcottah, where 
girls, disqualified to be teachers, are taught plain and fancy 
work, mending, knitting, cross-stitch, linen embroidery, 
basket and curry-powder making. So successful has been 
the sale of their work by " orders " from England, that thirty- 
three girls are thus being clothed and entirely supported. 
Connected with this class is a little School for Deaf and Dumb 
girls. " I have nine children," says Miss Swainson, " and 
have taught two of our trained girls to teach them reading, 
writing and arithmetic, and to talk on their fingers ; but it is 
not quite so easy in the Tamil language, with its 247 letters in 
the alphabet, as in English ! Still, we have adapted it, and 
the first three girls now know about 100 nouns, twenty 



156 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

verbs, and can write little sentences from dictation. The 
children thoroughly enjoy their lessons, especially the Bible 
stories, taught by pictures, and it is most interesting to see how 
their faces brighten as they begin to understand. We have 
begun morning and evening prayers with them, and they quite 
take it in. I write the prayer on the blackboard, and show 
them the meaning of each word before we begin ; then we 
kneel down and make the signs on our fingers. Pray that we 
may be able so to reach their minds and hearts with the love 
of Jesus, that these doubly pitiful little lives may be won for 
Him!" 

The little Blind School, the first effort of the kind in South 
India, is a most fascinating sphere of work. As early in its 
history as 1891, the pupils, ten of whom were girls, were ready 
to undergo a Government examination, which greatly pleased 
and surprised the inspector, who had never examined a blind 
school before. 

Christian school work among the girls of Madras has been 
well depicted by an observer. Again we quote Miss Billing- 
ton's words for their value as an independent and impartial 
testimony. 

" Among the special educational efforts made on behalf of 
the high-caste Hindu girls in Madras, none I found more 
interesting than the Mission schools carried on under the 
auspices of the Church of England Zenana Mission, by the 
daughters of the late Rev. W. T. Satthianadhan, a convert 
from Brahmanism. These two ladies, who are both highly 
educated, and speak English perfectly, have six schools with 
about 400 pupils under their supervision. In order that 
I might gain a rapid view of their work, Mrs. Hensman and 
Mrs. Clarke had the pupils from three of their schools brought 
before me, and I enjoyed the opportunity of seeing in demon- 
stration lessons how good was the training. The singing was 
meritorious, the needlework highly commendable, and the 



INDIA'S GIRLS FOR CHRIST! 157 

drill quite up to the standard of some of the best reputed 
London Board Schools. The Kindergarten action-songs and 
exercises by mites of three to five were marvellously good, 
and I watched with great interest the two charming native 
exercises called " Kollatrini " and " Kummi," which have been 
turned to account in the schools, the former resembling in 
idea the plaiting of ribbons round the May-pole. The pupil 
teachers, who are all converts, sang a hymn in English 
sweetly. . . . The principles of Christianity are kept to the 
fore in these schools, . . . and the fact that they have now 
gone on for twenty-five years with growing popularity, is proof 
enough of appreciation of the work ; while to-day many of the 
scholars are the daughters of its earliest students." 

To reach the ' gasha ' girls (South Indian term for pardah) 
seemed at one time impossible, yet, by God's blessing, preju- 
dice is being overcome, and the schools for Muhammadan 
girls under Miss E. L. Oxley's care are not the least flourishing 
to-day. Such, however, is the fear on the part of Musalman 
parents of their daughters being seen in the streets, that the 
school has, even now, to provide covered conveyances to fetch 
and take home the pupils. 

Our glance at C.E.Z.M.S. endeavours to win the girls of 
India for God would be incomplete without noticing the royal 
pupils at Trevandrum, whose school-house is the old Palace 
within the Fort. As long ago as 1864, Miss Blandford had 
the joy of taking possession of rooms " set apart for our use by 
the then distinguished and enlightened Prime Minister, Sir 
Mahdheva Rao." To continue in Miss Blandford's own words, 
written in the spring of 1897 : 

" Two young Ranis had been recently adopted by the State 
to become wives of the Maharaja and mothers of its future 
kings. They were fourteen and fifteen years of age respectively, 
and the younger had a small son a few months old. They 
shortly became my pupils, and wives of princes and other 



I5 8 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

ladies of rank soon followed their example, and studied Eng- 
lish, needlework, music, and painting, besides the far more im- 
portant study of God's Word. No restriction of any sort has 
ever been laid upon me ; in every house where I have taught 
secular subjects I have been allowed to give religious instruc- 
tion, and I cannot but hope that the seed sown will spring up 
and bear fruit in years to come." 

One would fain pause here and remember the names of all 
who have prayed and worked under the roof of each Mission 
school building, great and small, but space forbids. The 
record of their "work of faith and labour of love and patience 
of hope " is on high. Meanwhile, those who are labouring 
now, press forward with eager footsteps, and echo the same 
exultant cry as those gone before,—- 

11 India's Girls for Christ ! " 



CHAPTER IX 

Work for Widows and Widows at Work 

" I beheld . . the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had 
no comforter." — Eccles. xi. i. 

" Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God." — Isa. xl. i. 

11 Nearly every fifth female in India is a widow, and it is said that in 
Bengal alone there are 129,000 widows under fifteen years of age, and 
7,000 of these are under four years of age. My great-grandfather had 
as many as eighty wives, all of whom became widows when he died." 

—Mrs. K. P. Chowdhurv. 

ADDEST of all sights behind the 
pardah is the tear-stained face of 
the Hindu child-widow. 

Throughout India, widowhood 
is regarded as the punishment for 
some horrible crime committed by 
the woman in her former existence 
upon earth. If the woman be 
aged or the mother of sons, social 
abuse and hatred are greatly di- 
minished. But it is the child- 
widow and the childless young widow who have to encounter 
for life the curse of the community, in recognition that they 
are the greatest criminals upon whom Heaven's judgment has 
fallen. 

Now that the Sati rite 1 is prohibited, it may be thought by 

1 The burning of the widow alive beside the body of her dead husband 
on the funeral pyre. Abolished by British law in 1829. 

159 




160 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

some that the Hindu widow has been delivered from her 
sufferings. Little do they realise the true state of affairs ! 

Throughout India, except in the North- Western provinces, 1 
Hindu women are put to the severest trial imaginable after the 
husband's death. Among the Brahmans of the Deccan, the 
heads of all widows must be shaved regularly every fortnight. 
A Hindu woman thinks it worse than death to lose her beauti- 
ful hair. Girls of fourteen or fifteen, their eyes swollen with 
shedding bitter tears, are glad to keep in the darkest recesses 
of the Zenana, where they may hide their shame. Stripped of 
her bright-coloured clothing and of every jewel, the widow 
must wear a single coarse garment, white, red, or brown. For 
twelve months she must eat only one meal during the twenty- 
four hours, and this consists of rice, vegetables and milk, 
never of fish or meat. Twice a month she must observe a 
fast called " Ekadoshee," during which she takes nothing in 
the shape of liquid or solid food for twenty-four hours. The 
upper class Hindu widows during fast hours cannot even 
once drink water, be the weather never so hot. Besides these 
bi-monthly fasts she has many more to observe. 

The treatment of a widow varies in different families ; yet 
always by her dress and food she is constantly reminded that 
she is under the curse of the gods. She must never take part 
in family feasts, nor show herself to people on any occasion of 
festivity. A widow is called an " inauspicious " thing : a man 
will postpone his journey if his path happens to be crossed by 
a widow at the time of his departure. There is scarcely a day 
of her life that she is not cursed by the relatives of her hus- 
band as the cause of his death ; while the mother-in-law gives 

1 It must be understood that we are speaking of the usual experience of 
Hindu widows in the greater part of India. There are exceptions, and 
many instances in which young wives are happy and even widows fairly 
well treated. Amongst the Muhammadans, widows are no subjected to 
cruelty and indignity, and they are allowed to marry again. 



WORK FOR WIDOWS AND WIDOWS AT WORK 161 

vent to her grief in language that stabs the heart of the inno- 
cent girl. Hated by mother and sisters-in-law, closely confined 
to the house, made to sleep on the bare earth, shunned by the 
very children, considered a disgrace and treated as the drudge 
of the household, what wonder that the Hindu widow's life 
becomes intolerable to her ? If, for the sake of peace, she 
would like to live alone, she is considered disreputable. 

If a widow is left any property 
by her husband, she cannot call 
it her own. All her wealth be- 
longs to her son ; and if she has 
no son, she is made to adopt an 
heir, and to give him all her 
property as soon as he comes of 
age, while she has to wait on his 
wife, and lives on the bare allow- 
ance which he grants her for food 

, « ., . A WIDOW ! 

and clothing. 

" Even death cannot save a widow from indignities. For 
when a wife dies, she is burnt in the best clothes and jewel- 
lery she possessed, but a widoiv's corpse is covered with a 
coarse white cloth, and there is little ceremony at her funeral." 

It is almost impossible to exaggerate the miseries of India's 
twenty-three million widows, of whom hundreds of thou- 
sands are young children, doomed to perpetual and life-long 
suffering. We stand aghast at the number, and ask how it is 
that there are so many. The answer is, that, as every man or 
boy who dies leaves one or more widows, though thousands 
die, more live on. 1 

One thrilling glimpse of this fearful "tragedy of existence" 
is given us by a Hindu widow herself, of the Kayastha class. 

" When a husband dies, his wife suffers as much as if the 

1 In Bengal alone at the last census there were 43,000 widows under ten 
years of age. 

M 




i62 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

death-angel had come for her also. Several women, wives of 
barbers (a class who are kept for this object), are in waiting, 
and as soon as the husband's last breath is drawn, they rush at 
the new-made widow and tear off her ornaments. Ear and 
nose-rings are dragged off, tearing the flesh, ornaments plaited 
in the hair are torn away, and if the arms are covered with 
gold and silver bracelets, they do not take time to draw them 
off one by one, but holding her arm on the ground they ham- 
mer with a stone until the solid, heavy metal breaks in two. It 
matters not to them how many wounds they inflict ; they have 
no pity, even if the widow be but a child of six or seven who 
does not know what "a husband" means. 1 

At the funeral all the relatives must accompany the corpse 
on foot to the Burning Ghat. The men follow first, then the 
women, well veiled from sight, come after, and last, the widow 
led by the barbers' wives. They take care that at least 200 
feet intervene between her and any other woman ; for it is sup- 
posed that if her shadow fall on any (her tormentors excepted) 
she also would become a widow. One of the rough women 
goes in front and shouts aloud to any passer-by to get out of 
the way of the accursed thing— as if she were a wild beast ; 
the others drag her along. Arrived at the river where the body 
is to be burned, they push her into the water, and as she falls 
so she must lie, with her clothes on, until the body has been 
burned and all the company have bathed, washed their clothes 
and dried them. When they are all ready to start for home, 
but not before, they drag her out, and in her wet things she 
must trudge home, it matters not whether under a burning sun, 
or with an icy wind blowing from the Himalayas. 

" For fifteen days after a funeral the relatives must eat and 
drink only once in the day, but a widow must keep this up for 
a year, with frequent fasts. When she returns from the funeral, 

1 In Bengal a widow may continue to wear some of her ornaments till 
she is twelve years of age. 



WORK FOR WIDOWS AND WIDOWS AT WORK 163 

she must sit or lie in a corner on the ground in the same 
clothes she had on when her husband died, whether still wet 
or by this time dry, and is subjected to the abuse of her rela- 
tives. Her own mother says, ' Unhappy creature ! I can't 
bear the thought of any one so vile. I wish she had never 
been born ! ' Her mother-in-law says, ' The horrid viper ! she 
has bitten my son and killed him ; now he is dead, and she, 
useless creature ! is left behind.' And this, even though the 
speakers themselves may be widows. If she shows her grief, 
they all say, ' How immodest, how abandoned. See, she is cry- 
ing for a husband.' They have no pity. Only those who have 
been through this k?ww what it is. 

" I saw a widow die, one of my cousins. She had been ill 
before her husband's death. When he died, she was too weak 
to be dragged to the river. She was in a burning fever. Her 
mother-in-law called a water-carrier, and had four large skins of 
water poured over her as she lay on the ground, where she had 
been thrown from her bed when her husband died. The chill 
of death came upon her, and after lying alone and untended 
for eight hours, her breath ceased. Every one praised her, and 
said she had died from love of her husband ! 

" The English have abolished Sati ; but alas ! neither the 
English nor the angels know what goes on in our homes. And 
Hindus not only don't care, but think it good. I am told that 
in England they comfort widows' hearts ; but there is no com- 
fort for us. The only difference for us since Sati was abolished 
is that we died quickly, if cruelly, then, but now we die all our 
lives in lingering pain. O God, I pray Thee, let no more 
women be born in this land ! " 

Sympathy, and not mere sentiment, should surely rise 
within us as we see tears fast falling from the eyes of India's 
widows, and remember that of the twenty-three millions, 
600,000 are girls not yet nineteen years old. Many of them 
have been wives only in name, but most of them must remain 



1 64 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

widows in reality until death. What can we do for them ? will 
be the cry which their anguish wrings from us. 

When we heard, in 1891, that two widows of our Krishnagar 
Mission had escaped by night from their Zenanas to seek 
baptism, and had taken refuge with our missionaries, the 
news was received with thankful confidence that they would 
prove only the first of many caste women won from Krishna 
to Christ. And it has been true. Numbers of intelligent 
young widows are now under Christian influence and instruc- 
tion, who never cease to thank God for His "comforters " — 
their English missionary sisters. 

At the urgent request of the C.M.S. missionaries, a Widows' 
Training Class was commenced at Chapra in 1885 (subse- 
quently, in 1896, removed to Kapashdanga), its object being to 
choose and train widows who showed a real desire to devote 
themselves for Christ's sake to evangelistic work among the 
190,000 women of the Nadiya (Nuddea) district. 

Some neat mud-houses, with thatched roofs, built exactly in 
native fashion, were erected. They consisted of two blocks 
with four rooms in each, opening into a verandah in which 
the inmates could cook and eat their food. We do not seek to 
raise them above their own mode of life, but to send them as 
village women into the villages, to carry on their work amongst 
the people of their own class without any feeling of superiority, 
except the dignity and importance of their Message. The 
course of training extends over three years or longer, as may 
be found necessary, and comprises an elementary education in 
reading, writing, and arithmetic, and a thorough knowledge of 
the Bible and the great principles of our holy religion; the 
first and prayerful aim being to enable these widow evangelists 
of the future to tell their ignorant countrywomen, both simply 
and fully, of the Saviour Whom they have found precious to 
their own souls. Though they are taught that it is wiser, as 
a rule, to refrain from argument, yet it is endeavoured to fit 



WORK FOR WIDOWS AND WIDOWS AT WORK 165 

them to meet, should necessity compel, the fierce attacks of 
the defenders of a host of Hindu deities, or those of the False 
Prophet. 

The success of this new movement was evident during the 
very first year of its inauguration. In February, 1886, the 
Rev. G. H. Parsons was able to write: "I have been success- 
ful in arranging for the whole of our Chapra Widows' Train- 
ing Class to be out for a few days in camp, in order that the 
women might have practical experience of their future work. 
The experiment succeeded very well, and a great deal of work 
was done among the heathen women during the ten days. 
Everywhere the workers were warmly welcomed." 

Miss Adams, writing to us in 1897, says : 

" It has been my joy for the past four and a half years to have 
charge of the Kapashdanga Widows' Training Class. During 
that time, a number of women have passed out to work in 
various places, and constantly do we hear cheering news of 
their faithful labours. In the past cold weather season, Novem- 
ber, 1896, to February, 1897, we all went into camp together 
in order to give the widows some practical experience of evan- 
gelistic work. How good it was, every morning, to be able to 
divide our force into three bands (with an experienced worker 
at the head of each), and to go out into as many villages with 
the message of a Saviour's love ! " 

One of our missionaries, to whom some of these widow 
workers were sent as fellow labourers, said not long since : 

" Our dear Bible-women are a great help, — always ready for 
work. I cannot help thinking of the words, ' How beautiful 
are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace and bring 
good tidings of good things ! ' when I see them trudge, so 
willingly, over dusty roads and muddy fields to tell of the 
salvation of God. Such energy in Indian women involves 
great self-denial." 

At Bangalore, where a somewhat similar work is now going 



1 66 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

on, the missionary in charge is able to give just as encouraging 
testimony. " The convert, Nistarini, a widow, who was baptised 
with her three children, in January, 1 891, is a general favourite. 
She is being trained to be a Bible-woman, and understands 
the people so well that I feel that she will be a great power for 
good. If we go to a house where on a former visit she may 
have been with us, the first question always is, ' Where is the 
barber's widow ? ' She is never so happy as when telling the 
good news of the Gospel ; be it the milk-woman or washer- 
woman, no matter whom, if she get the chance, Nistarini will 
take her aside for a talk on religion." 

But, it is obvious that all destitute Indian widows have not 
the intelligence and capabilities required to fit them as 
evangelists to their own people, even were there sufficient 
training homes to receive the would-be applicants. 

It is impossible for the Hindu widow woman to become a 
household servant or seamstress, etc., and thus obtain an 
honest livelihood, since she cannot undertake any menial work 
for Christians without incurring pollution ; and, moreover, 
since in India, servants do not live in the same house as their 
employers, and amongst those of one establishment, Muham- 
madans, Hindus, Sweepers and Christians will be found, it 
would be considered the height of indiscretion for a young 
widow to live in the midst of these without the protection of 
father or mother. 

"Will not your own parents support you?" has frequently 
been asked. 

11 Alas, no," one will reply. "My father spent all that he 
could afford on my marriage ; he has been in debt ever since. 
How can he help me now ? " 

If there is no father, we ask, " What about your mother? " 

" My mother ? She is herself a widow. What can she do 
for me ? " 

" Have you no brothers ? " 



WORK FOR WIDOWS AND WIDOWS AT WORK 167 

" Brothers ? " she will answer ; " why, my brother will pass 
me in the street, taking no more notice of me than if I were a 
dog, lest I should appeal to him for support." 

The widow, then, must earn her own livelihood. Yet, by 
grinding corn, the lowest avocation, she can make only about 
one anna a day ; and since there are sixteen annas in the 
rupee, and the rupee is not worth more than one shilling and 
threepence-halfpenny, she is as badly off as the celebrated 
Margery Daw of nursery fame, who should have " but a penny 
a day because she can't work any faster." The embroidery 
merchants extort labour by a kind of " sweating " system, 
which, while it ensures large gain to the seller, doles out the 
merest pittance to the toiling needleworker. 

Well may Pandita Ramabai exclaim, " Starvation and death 
stare the Hindu widow in the face. No ray of hope penetrates 
her densely darkened mind. The only alternative before her 
is either to commit suicide, or, worse still, to accept a life of 
infamy and shame. Oh ! cruel, cruel is the custom that drives 
thousands of young widows to such a fate ! " 

" May she become a widow ! " is a form of malediction often 
used by those who wish to bring down a curse on any woman 
who may have excited their wrath. The very word employed 
in some parts of the country to designate this class (the same 
as that given to a woman leading a life of infamy) shows the 
category to which they are consigned, and also the tempta- 
tions to which their lot exposes them. 

Miss E. G. Sandys, in trying to trace an old Zenana pupil 
who had removed, came upon house after house, street after 
street, of these poor unfortunate women, who, even from their 
secluded homes, had been enticed away and were living a life 
of sin and misery. No wonder that the pressing needs and 
distress of these neglected sisters have burnt into the souls of 
our Zenana workers, until they have devised means of practical 
help and succour. 



i68 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



Miss Wauton, our senior missionary in the Punjab, who says 
that during the whole time she has spent in Amritsar " the cry 
of the widows " has never ceased sounding in her ears, was the 
first to begin a movement on their behalf which is spreading 
now, thank God, from Mission to Mission. Industrial Classes 
for Widows have been opened, and are besieged by more eager 
and deserving applicants than can possibly, at present, be 
received. 

In the largest of these, the Hindu Widows' Industrial Class 
at Amritsar, 150 women of all castes and ages, but alike in 

one common bond of sore 
poverty and desolation, arc 
happily earning their bread, 
and at the same time are 
brought into close contact 
with those who care for 
their souls. In the heart 
of Amritsar stands a tall 
pile of buildings lent by 
Rani Kirpa De, on the 
upper floor of which about 
100 members of the first 
department of the Class work every day. The method at 
present adopted is that of carrying on purely indigenous 
industries, a knowledge of which often forms part of a Hindu 
girl's scanty education. One of the chief of these is 'phul- 
khari,' or ' kasida' work, i.e. t flowers embroidered in floss silk 
on coloured materials (all worked from the back), which is 
becoming familiar in the shape of fire-place curtains, table- 
cloths, cushion covers, bags, blotters, and photograph frames 
in many an English drawing-room. 1 




1 The Hon. Sec. , Miss Sandys, Manorside, Leigh Road, Highbury, N., 
is always ready to send parcels of work to any friends who will help 



WORK FOR WIDOWS AND WIDOWS AT WORK 169 

The materials used, and all patterns and designs, are purely 
Indian ; but the Oriental love of strong and variegated colour- 
ing has sometimes to be controlled. In her own home, a 
woman working golden yellow ' Kikur ' blossoms on a red 
ground would probably insert two or three blue roses or 
purple elephants to ward off the Evil Eye ; but the inexorable 
Superintendent of the Industrial Class considers that these are 
blemishes, and dares to take the consequences of omitting 
them ! 

Miss M. E. Jackson, " our own Miss Sahiba," as the widows 
delight to call her, thus describes the busy scene, full of living 
interest and pathos : 

11 In the first and largest room, about thirty-five or forty 
women sit on the floor, all busy with phulkhari or ' chope ' 1 
work. In one corner, a large curtain is being made in dark 
red and gold colour, with little pieces of glass let in round the 
border. In another, four women are working at a large rug. 
One woman, with very clever fingers and an imaginative brain, 
is making, what she calls, ■ a picture cloth.' The central figure 
(so she says) is Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria. 
It represents a person wearing a small round hat, driving her- 
self in a sort of gig or trap. All round the border is a circle 
of bipeds, which she pronounces with much complacence to 
be ' all the Miss Sahibas.' 

"Our second industry is the spinning of cotton, and this 
department is carried on in a rented building in another part 
of the city. We often found that those whose claims were 
most urgent were either too old, too blind or too stupid to do 
kasida work ; it therefore occurred to us that they might spin 

with the sale of it : 2d. in the shilling discount is allowed to C.M.S. or 
C.E.Z.M.S. stallholders at sales of work. 

1 Another kind of embroidery, exactly the same on both sides, in silks 
or cottons on white washing material, much in demand for toilet covers, 
side-board and tray cloths, etc. 



170 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

cotton to be utilised for other branches of the class. As all 
Punjabi women know how to spin, this proposition was hailed 
with delight. The cotton they produce is wound into skeins 
and hanks by the most infirm. The finer-spun thread is 
either sold in the bazar just as it is, for the full value, or it is 
reserved and dyed for the embroidery work j the coarser cotton 
is needed for the third industry, i.e., the making of ' nawar,' 
a kind of webbing much used for native bedsteads in place of 
iron or wooden laths. As this requires a considerable amount 
of space, we have erected a thatched shed on the roof, where 
a happy little group carries on its work. The webbing is 
made on a small wooden frame, about eighteen inches high, 
and the threads are stretched on tall iron pegs at each side of 
the shed. The left hand passes the shuttle backwards and 
forwards, and the right hand presses down the threads with a 
piece of wood shaped like a large carving knife." 

It is worthy of record that in this Diamond Jubilee year, 
1897, the loyalty of the Industrial Class widows determined 
them to execute a special piece of embroidery to celebrate the 
sixtieth year of the reign of their Queen Empress, and Her 
Majesty graciously accepted an embroidered curtain, " the gift 
of 100 Indian widows." The Dean of Windsor, who made 
the presentation, was asked to ensure that Her Majesty's 
thanks would be conveyed to the donors of the gift. 

Samples of embroidery from the Amritsar Widows' Class, 
it may be mentioned, obtained a medal from the Chicago 
Exhibition ; and the gaining of such a distinction was cele- 
brated by admitting to the Class five or six of those whose 
names had been on the long roll of waiting candidates for a 
year or more. 

To turn away, sometimes, nearly a hundred applicants for 
admission is a heart-breaking task. Yet it must be done. 

And what is the coveted allowance for four hours' work a 
day ? Only about 2s. Sd. for the embroiderers, and 2s. for 



WORK FOR WIDOWS AND WIDOWS AT WORK 171 

the spinners per month ! 1 Yet it is higher than non-Christians 
pay for the same amount of labour ; and the fact that the 
Missionary Superintendent is daily besieged by applicants 
proves that the system adopted is just and reasonable. The 
value of this monthly wage seems to consist in the regularity 
with which it is received, and the hours of labour being short, 
these earnings can sometimes be supplemented by grinding 
corn, etc., at home. 

Our missionaries in charge of these widows at work find a 
humorous side to their philanthropic efforts. In response 




to the statement that many a worker in the Class suffers from 
defective vision, friends at home are asked to send pairs of 
spectacles, new and second hand, for the widows. " It would 
make a grave person laugh," says Miss Jackson, " to see the 
women sitting in a row trying on the spectacles. They place 
them upside down, inside out, or on the very tip of the nose, 
and often, instead of consulting their own eyes, ask the opinion 
of their neighbours as to whether they will suit Those who 

1 Small Scholarships of two shillings a month for six or eight months 
to widows while learning the industries, are thankfully received by the 
missionaries in charge, and may be sent to Miss Sandys, Manorside, 
Leigh Road, Highbury, N. 



i 7 2 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

are supplied with eye-glasses fasten them on by means of a 
string tied to the spring in the middle, which is passed up the 
forehead, across the head, and then tied round the neck ! 
They call the eye-glasses ' spectacles without legs.' One widow 
complacently remarked, ' Though my spectacles have no legs, 
I like them very much, because they make me look just like 
Miss Wauton ! ' " 

The raw cotton for the Industrial Class is purchased by 
weight from the bazar, and the process is somewhat amusing. 
As the buyer approaches the shop, she can see nothing but a 
huge pair of scales and snowdrifts of white cotton. But where 
is the keeper of the store? The lady calls out, "Oh, re- 
spected shopkeeper ! Oh, my brother ! of your kindness 
come quickly." After she has repeated this polite salutation 
three or four times, and has aroused considerable interest in 
the narrow street, the person in question, who may be flying 
a kite on the roof, or smoking his ' huqqa,' i.e., pipe, with a 
neighbour, becomes aware that he is wanted. With a great 
semblance of making haste he comes forward, putting on his 
' kurta ' or winding his turban, and saying, " Your Majesty ! 
the shop is yours ! What will you have from it ? " Then 
ensues a good deal of haggling over the price, and also a good 
deal of unasked advice from the bystanders. Finally, when 
the purchaser has agreed to give a little more, and the vendor 
to take a little less, an amicable settlement is arrived at, and 
the huge mass of fluffy cotton is packed in a coarse sheet and 
carried to the Institute on the head of a coolie, the lady 
following, greeted on her way with shouts of "There goes the 
Cotton Madam ! " 

A native Christian teacher at the present time (1897) is 
taking charge of the Widows' Class at Amritsar, and Shauti's 
earnest care for the spiritual welfare of the women, as well 
as her complete knowledge of kasida work, make her 
peculiarly suitable for the post. She teaches them from the 



WORK FOR WIDOWS AND WIDOWS AT WORK 173 

Bible every day, and some of the widows, having lately ex- 
pressed a wish to become Christians, are receiving special 
instruction. 

Miss Wauton, writing during the time of famine (1897), 
said : " The municipality here are giving relief through our 
hands to a large number of destitute women, chiefly widows, 
by giving them spinning to do in their own homes. The 
cotton is given out daily in our Central School, and the thread 
is brought back there again as each one completes the amount 
taken for the week. While the business of weighing out is 
going on, delightful opportunities occur for reading and 
speaking to the women. 

"Many now are believing in the Christian's God as the 
Hearer and Answerer of prayer. When speaking in the 
Widows' Class the other day of the beautiful rain which had 
just been given to us, they all said, "Yes, it was your (the 
Christian's) prayers that brought it to us." 

Miss G. Gollock, in A Winter's Mails, written in 1895, says 
brightly : " Then there are Miss Jackson's widows, to whom I 
have lost my heart. They gather in, day by day, poor, weary 
souls, with nothing of joy in life, and no hope for hereafter, 
and they are taught to work and to sing, and they are loved, 
until the weary old faces soften and brighten, and the chilled 
hearts grow more ready to melt into kindness as the story 
of the Cross is told. There have been no visible 'results' 
as yet from the Widows' Class, but I was certain as I gazed 
on the dear, softened faces that the seed was sprouting under 
ground. I look on that Widows' Class as one of God's ' future 
tenses ' in the Mission field." 

The last two years have seen great advance in the develop- 
ment of this industrial scheme for Indian widows. Our 
missionaries at Calcutta, Krishnagar, Narowal, Peshawar, 
Bangalore, Tinnevelly, and Trichur have been enabled to help 
destitute women, and have thus ministered temporal as well 



174 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



as spiritual relief. Miss E. M. Sandys, in a preface to her 
booklet, Industrial Mission Work in India, says : 

Miss Ling sends us some of the cloths worked by Toda 
women; Miss Blyth, bead work and aprons made by her 
Hindu widows. Miss E. L. Oxley sends exquisite work by Mu- 
hammadan women in whom she is interested ; and sometimes 
we have silver brooches and bracelets to sell for the Misses 
Coleman, of Trichur, for a convert — a goldsmith turned out 
of employment by his heathen masters ; crochet, too, they 
send, made by their women converts. We have just made 
arrangements to receive and sell work from the Industrial 
Class, Masulipatam ; and, a short time ago, a petition for help 
came from two ladies at the Barangore Converts' Home, to 
which we have not turned deaf ears." 

" It has been objected," writes Miss Wauton, " that 
Industrial Classes should be the work of the philanthropist 
rather than the missionary. But where are the philanthropists 
who will undertake the work ? Let them quickly step forward 
into this field of labour if they feel so constrained. But mean- 
while, who that hears what abundant opportunities are afforded 
for preaching by word and deed the Gospel of Him Who 
came to ??ii?iister to the poor and needy, will dare to assert that 
this is not true missionary work ? " 

The C.E.Z.M.S. Indian Widows' Union 1 by which the 
Christian widows of England band together in a united effort 
to improve the condition of the Hindu and Muhammadan 
widows of India, is a movement which God has signally 
blessed. By prayer, by raising and keeping up a fund for 
establishing Industrial Classes and aiding widows by training 
them to support themselves, and by helping to dispose of the 
work done in these schools, hand joins hand of those who are 
" widows indeed " in a holy bond of enterprise which must 

1 Hon. Secretary, Miss MacGregor, C.E.Z.M.S., 9, Salisbury Square, 
E.C. 



WORK FOR WIDOWS AND WIDOWS AT WORK 175 

indeed be well-pleasing to the Lord. Thrice happy must they 
be who, though also under the cloud of a sore bereavement, 
are finding leisure from themselves to soothe and sympathise, 
and are making everi the sad widow's heart in far-away India 
to sing for joy ! 



CHAPTER X 

Our Suffering Sisters behind the Parclah — I, 

" Higher and louder than all the invitation calls of men, comes the 
dying appeal of a poor heathen woman, albeit it was uttered in the 
last stage of feebleness, and amid the gaspings and chokings of death, 
' Tell your people how fast we are dying ; and ask if they cannot send 
the Gospel a little faster.' " 




NCE, in days not far remote, India 
might have been called a Land 
of Sickness and Death. Fever, 
ophthalmia, and other epidemics 
were allowed to take their own 
course; while the dread foe, 
cholera, or the plague, was left to 
number its victims almost with- 
out check ; and this, because the 
deity presiding over each disease 
might otherwise be offended. 
For instance, even now, thousands of human beings are 
sacrificed every year on the altar, as it were, of the imaginary 
Goddess of Small-pox, who is supposed to scatter the seeds of 
this terrible disease for her amusement, and would be enraged 
at vaccination ! 

Still, although beneficent British rule has enforced sanitary 
regulations, and while, in many of the large centres, Western 
science is eagerly sought, and Indian medical men, intelligent 
and well educated, are being trained and paid by Government, 
prejudice and carelessness slay thousands of victims. And 

176 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 177 

amongst the villages, generally speaking, the native doctors, 
1 hakims,' though numerous enough, are totally ignorant of 
Western medicine and surgery, their medical knowledge con- 
sisting only of a few nostrums handed down from father to 
son for many generations. 

The sadness which surrounds the life of the Indian woman 
in health is intensified a hundred times when illness and 
suffering come. "All Hindu women," wrote the veteran 
missionary, Mrs. Weitbrecht, some few years since, "whether 
rich or poor, are utterly neglected in the time of sickness." 
The death-rate amongst Indian women and children still is 
enormous, and the reason is not far to seek. Except in large 
towns, such as Calcutta, Amritsar, etc., be the patient never so 
ill, she must not see a man doctor ; death is preferred. Exam- 
ination of pulse and tongue through a hole in the pardah, 
unsatisfactory at all times, is impossible when the patient is 
prostrate in bed with serious illness ; and no mere verbal 
description of the case would suffice. Therefore the native 
nurses are virtually all that the sick women of India have for 
doctors in their own homes. These women are not only 
ignorant and excessively meddlesome, but often do incal- 
culable mischief when they are called in. Countless mothers 
and infants fall victims to the merciless and nameless bar- 
barities inflicted upon them in their hour of peril by the 'daies.' 

After the birth of a child, a Hindu woman is kept in a very 
small, close, dark room, with a fire (which is generally placed 
in a brazier under her bed), and without any possibility of fresh 
air ; on the next day she is given a cold bath, and returned to 
her cell like a prisoner ! For three days after her baby's birth 
she is allowed nothing but a little water, perhaps with a little 
bread soaked in it. 

Cases of heart-rending cruelty and neglect, in which, had 
medical aid been within reach at the proper time, all would 
have gone well, occur continually in the dark recesses of 

N 



173 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

pardah life. " More than once," says a gentleman, a well- 
known medical missionary, " we have been asked for ointment 
to heal the broken limb of some inmate of the Zenana ; and 
when we told them, in such cases, that we must see the 
patient, and that perhaps some operation might be required, 
or that the broken bone must be set and the limb put in 
splints, ' That cannot be ; it is not our custom,' has been the 
reply ; and the poor woman has been left to linger on in 
suffering, or to die in agony, simply for want of that help which 
the lady physician, or, in. many cases, even the trained nurse 
could have given." 

It is scarcely possible to exaggerate the misery of the scenes 
witnessed by the Zenana medical missionary, as she takes her 
place by the side of some poor, pain-tossed one, and looks 
round, in vain, for any sign of comfort or alleviation in the 
wretched apartment. It may be illness in which the utmost 
quiet, the most absolute rest, are imperatively demanded, or 
it may be that the sand of life is rapidly running out. Often 
in such cases, the room, or roof, or courtyard, as the case may 
be, is crowded with noisy women, not one attempting to do 
anything to help the sufferer, while beneath the bare charpaie, 
i.e., bedstead, generally too short for the patient to lie at ease, 
is assembled the family stock of poultry j and dogs, goats, and 
children divide between them the little remaining space. Not 
unfrequently at such a moment, the sick woman will seize the 
hand of the missionary and eagerly say, " Oh, Doctor Miss 
Sahiba, don't let me die ! " 

Facts and testimonies to the value of C.E.Z.M.S. Medical 
Mission labours show, thank God! that this department of 
service is no mere experiment, but an all-important and in- 
creasingly valuable part of women's work in the great harvest 
field. It is bringing our missionaries into contact with 
thousands of needy women whom otherwise they would 
probably never see. In the course of a single year (1896) as 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 179 

many as 178,182 sick in India were being attended or pre- 
scribed for, either in hospitals or at dispensaries, by our 

comparatively tiny medical staff on the field. 1 

* * * * * 

To describe St. Catherine's Hospital at Amritsar, our largest 
C.E.Z.M.S. home of healing, and the vast network of agencies' 
radiating from it, would occupy a far larger space than we have 
here. Yet, an outline of this remarkable institution will indi- 
cate, somewhat, the area of its influence and work. 

The Medical Mission in Amritsar was begun in the spring 
of 1880, when the first City Dispensary, two rooms only, was 
opened in a densely populated Muhammadan quarter, where 
no access to a Zenana had yet been obtained. The first 
morning one woman attended. From that time, however, 
Miss Hewlett has carried on the work she thus began in 
faith, with untiring energy and growing success. The next 
year, a Zenana Mission Hospital was established, where, during 
six months, 7,000 visits from out-patients were received, and 
whilst upwards of 300 visits were paid to Zenanas, no fewer 
than forty-one were to women keeping strictest pardah. As 
proof of the interlacing of our branches it may be mentioned 
that some of the linen for this new Hospital was prepared by 
the girls of the Alexandra School, two of whom, Miss Abdullah 
and Miss K. Bose, at once went into training as medical 
students, and are still valuable workers. Year by year the 
numbers of patients rose, and additions were made to the staff 
and to the building. 

1 The C.E.Z.M.S. Medical Mission staff, either in home or local con- 
nection, comprises, in 1897, nme fully qualified doctors (the Misses Hoist, 
Sharp, Von Ilimpe and Wheeler, who have each taken the degree of 
M.D., the Misses A. G. Lillingston, Mitcheson, and Vines, who have 
each won the diploma of the L.R.C.P. and S.Ed., and the Misses Adams, 
F. Cooper, L.S.A.), twenty-five recognised medical workers, and twenty 
qualified as nurses and dispensers. The term "doctor" in the following 
narratives, must be understood as the respectful title given by patients to 
each and all of our "medical missionaries." 



iSo BEHIND THE PARDAH 

Peculiar opportunities for speaking to the hearts of the 
people and for soul-winning were afforded by the hospital. 
Some of the suffering women — their prejudice softened by 
kindness, and gratitude taking away all feeling of bigotry — 
would say to their nurses, " Tell us more, if you think we shall 
die without your Saviour ; tell us all about Him " — a request 
eagerly granted. By the year 1884, it was necessary to open 
a third Dispensary, and this was in a building close to the 
Golden Temple, the shrine of the Granth, the sacred book of 
the Sikhs. The spot was an excellent one, on account of the 
number of women who came to bathe in the sacred tank, and 
it was given to the workers in direct answer to prayer. In the 
Hospital by this time, the work of preparing the medical and 
surgical stores, and the dispensing of the many thousands of 
prescriptions, was taken over by the pupils, who were being 
trained in all missionary habits, and were entering enthusi- 
astically into the efforts made to win and teach the patients. 
During this year, the Maternity Hospital was committed to 
Miss Hewlett's care by the municipal authorities, since which 
time the systematic training of the ' daies ' has always been a 
most important and successful department of the work. 

The poor, the low, the outcast women of city and villages, 
far and near, thronged the Hospital as a refuge and place of 
comfort and healing. The number of innocent victims ex- 
posed to suffering through moral degradation and sin, as re- 
vealed day after day by medical mission work in Amritsar, is 
almost beyond belief. In 1888, a home for Destitute Con- 
valescent Women was opened, which is conducted in the 
simplest possible native style. But we can only enumerate 
the agencies which, by this time, were offshoots from the one 
great centre. Taran Taran Dispensary, 1 with its openings in 

1 Taran Taran Dispensary was opened by Miss Sharp and Miss Hewlett 
at the request of the Rev. E. Guilford, C.M.S., and was worked from 
Amritsar until Miss Grimwood took it over in 1887. 



; 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 181 

a hundred Zenanas, visits to the Leper Village, Sunday Schools 
for Christian, Muhammadan, and Hindu children, a School 
for Blind Women, Bible Readings for English people from 
the station, a Converts' School, a Creche, Servants' Bible 
Readings — all were prospering when, in 1890, Miss Hewlett 
wrote a deeply interesting review of ten years' work. Thirty- 
five converts had been baptised, eight had been called Home, 
and three old medical students had gone to take charge of 
separate medical mission stations. Such were some of the 
items calling for heartfelt thanksgiving from every worker. 

In her book, Daughters of the King y Miss Hewlett thus 
graphically describes " a curious night experience," of frequent 
occurrence as darkness settles down on Amritsar : 

" A man has come to call the Doctor Miss Sahiba, with all 
urgency, to see some very sick woman. He goes away to 
fetch a hired gari, and we prepare to start. The ' gari ' is a 
remarkably shaky contrivance on four wheels, with wonder- 
ful propensities for letting its doors fly open, and its wooden 
shutters fall down with an alarming bang. . . . On the 
roof of the gari, with his legs crossed, sits our driver, who 
wears no livery ! One of the first things that strikes us is the 
fact that the streets are full of charpaies ; every shopkeeper has 
placed his own just in front of his shop, and is sleeping as 
soundly as in a well-protected house. In the wider bazars 
there is still plenty of room for our gari in the middle ; but 
when we come to narrow ones, our driver has to call vigorously 
to rouse the sleepers. They, poor creatures, not at all pleased, 
stand up, and hold their charpaies flat against the walls of the 
houses, and, as soon as we have passed, replace them, and, 
with a little grumbling, go off to sleep again. But, it may be, 
that in half an hour we return the same way, and once more 
they must be disturbed, unless they are to be run over. No 
wonder they seem not very amiable ! 

" At length we reach the house, and find our patient. Had 



i8 2 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

she been a Hindu, and very seriously ill, we should have 
found her downstairs and on the bare floor, as it is a great 
sin for any Hindu to die in an upstairs room or on a charpaie. 
But she happens to be a strict Muhammadan, and she is care- 
fully hidden away in an upstairs room, which is crowded with 
relatives and friends. ... It requires great patience, and 
some tact to find out what is really the matter. Nobody in a 
Zenana ever seems able to give a history of her own illness, 
and when the mother begins to explain she only complicates 
matters. For example, it was asked of one young Zenana 
lady, * Have you any children ? ' ' No,' was the emphatic 
reply of a friend standing by, 'she never had any.' Again 
the question was asked, and again a very decided negative. 
But, presently, the patient casually said, ' I have not been well 
ever since my baby was born ' ; and upon the visitor express- 
ing great astonishment at this contradiction — ' Why, you told 
me she never had a child ! ' — the answer came very promptly, 
' Oh, yes, she had a girl ; but what is that ? ' 

" By degrees we calm the excited and perhaps frightened 
women . . . and, amid many difficulties, the medical part 
of the visit is at length accomplished, and the simple message 
of God's redeeming love is quietly whispered to the sufferer. 
Then, promising to come again in the morning, we leave, and 
are soon driving home again, in our shaking, rattling convey- 
ance, through the quiet streets. The necessary medicines are 
given to the messenger who accompanies us, and we retire to 
rest once more." 

Seventeen years ago, and St. Catherine's was represented 
only by one small building, which stands at the corner of the 
irregular pile, now 255 feet in length. Then, six beds only 
were available, and sufficed for the attention that could be 
given by Miss Hewlett and one co-worker. To-day, there is 
accommodation for forty-two in-patients, while no fewer than 
one hundred people can live on the premises. Miss Hewlett 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 183 

has a staff ot eleven fellow-workers, besides sixteen Bible- 
women and several Christian converts in training, who divide 
the work at St. Catherine's and Khutrain between them. Two 
hundred in-patients were nursed in the Hospital itself during 
1896, while thirty-eight thousand out-patients visited the three 
Dispensaries. In addition to these, about two thousand visits 
were paid to sick ones in their own homes. All who come 
for medicines to the various out-patient rooms hear, at least 
once, of Jesus and His love, while those who are nursed are 
lovingly directed to Him by those who have found Him them- 
selves. 

One such woman, a widow she believed herself to be, came 
for treatment to Miss Kheroth Bose at Taran Taran, and on 
hearing the Message for the third time only, received it into 
her heart. She was directed to St. Catherine's, and presented 
herself there as an inquirer anxious for baptism. Her three 
sons came with her, and occupation in grinding corn was 
found for them, so that they could all remain for instruction. 
On the morning after their arrival, however, an order was 
given that the boys' hair should be cut. At this the eldest 
rebelled, and, with an air of authority such as mere children 
in India assume towards their parents, he said, " Mother, you 
must not stay in this wicked place, where they dare to cut the 
hair of a Sikh man ! " The woman, afraid of her son, went 
away sadly with all three lads ; but, in a day or two, the 
craving for teaching gained the ascendancy over her fear, and 
she returned, saying to her boys, " I mean to go back to 
St. Catherine's, and if the Miss Sahiba wishes to cut off your 
heads as well as your hair she shall do so." 

Within a week the woman and her children had begun to 
learn to read, and very soon were prepared for baptism, when 
they took the Christian names of Miriam, Ambrose, Basil, and 
Clement. 

Some months later, Miriam came to her teacher in tears. 



i8 4 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

Her husband, a Sikh soldier, had not been killed in the 
Egyptian war, but, having returned to Amritsar, had come 
to St. Catherine's to remove her and her sons. Much prayer 
was offered with the weeping woman, and then the man was 
interviewed. To the relief of all, he said, " I came here with 
the devil in my heart, but when I saw the change in that 
woman, I made up my mind to stay, if you will allow me, and 
find out what has caused it." 

Employment as window-cleaner was offered and accepted 
by the finely-built, stern Sikh warrior, and rooms were 
appointed for him and his family in the compound. It was 
not long before a change was wrought in his heart also, and 
he became humble and teachable as a child. A touching 
sight was soon witnessed, when Ambrose and Basil led their 
father to the font for baptism. So full of joy were the little 
lads, that, on reaching home, they threw up their caps in the 
air with the ringing shout, "Father's a Christian! father's a 
Christian ! " The whole Christian household rejoiced over 
the little family as a trophy of grace, very delightful to the 
Saviour's heart. 

Some time after, as the father was on his way to the Bible 
Reading, which he dearly loved, he was seized with fatal illness, 
and passed away almost suddenly. His widow has now be- 
come a Bible-woman nurse in Ludhiana, under the ladies of 
the F.E.S., while Ambrose, now a youth of eighteen, is shop- 
man in the Blind School. 

No more pathetic incident in reference to our suffering 
sisters in India has reached us, than one which occurred at 
St. Catherine's Hospital, of which Miss Hewlett told at the 
C.E.Z.M.S. anniversary meeting in 1891. 

" One dear girl came to us for medical training. She took 
delight in study, but she was not to carry out the great wish of 
her heart. I became anxious about what she called ' broken 
chilblains,' and asked a doctor to examine her. My fears 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 185 

proved true; he pronounced it to be leprosy, and said she 
must at once be separated from the others. It fell to me to break 
the terrible tidings to her. Never shall I forget her heart- 
breaking wail when she understood the truth. Then she knelt 
by her bed, and at last I heard the whisper, ' Not my will, but 
Thine be done ! ' Mr. Karney was with us, and he adminis- 
tered the Holy Communion to the suffering girl privately in 
our little chapel at St. Catherine's. The next day she went 
to the Hospital for Lepers at Calcutta, where she is doing a 
missionary's work among the patients. I love to add that 
when the lady who bore the expense of her training heard 
what had happened, she wrote to us, ' Henceforth little Bessie 
shall want for nothing ; I shall continue the annual ;£io.'" 

Let us glance next at some of the Medical Mission Dispen- 
saries for the neglected village women. Wherever a station is 
established something, at least, is being attempted, something 
done, on medical mission lines. Every lady missionary is 
expected by the people to be a Siyana (wise person) or a 
Hakim (doctor). There is much disappointment if she fail to 
produce, out of her treasures, some little remedy for fever or 
sore eyes, when visiting a village. 

At Ratnapur, a centre of village work in the Nadiya (Nud- 
dea) district, the Dispensary is a home of healing for thousands 
of sick around. Miss G. Gollock, during her winter tour in 
India, caught a glimpse of a busy scene continually being 
enacted in these far-away districts. 

" At 7 a.m. we heard a babel of voices in a room adjoining 
ours, and remembered that Miss Trench opened her dispen- 
sary at that hour. A message came to ask me to look in at 
the work. Miss Trench, who has had medical training under 
Miss Hewlett at Amritsar, sat at a little table, receiving the 
very small fee of two ' pice' from each patient, entering the 
name, village, diagnosis of complaint and treatment, and 
writing rapidly her prescriptions for her patients. The pre- 



186 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

scribed-for patient was passed under a rope, a quick { Esho ! ' 
(Come !) brought another patient from the verandah, and the 
prescription, passed on to Miss Leslie, or a native lady who is 
learning, was quickly and carefully made up. Presently, we 
passed behind the busy doctor to the door of the verandah, 
where about thirty women still sat on the floor. Some were 
waiting their turn for admission, others, long since supplied 
with medicine, of their own accord, had come back, to listen to 
the Bible-woman." 

The patients gather in characteristic groups, listening to the 
Words of Life. Old women squat in the foreground, while 
mothers with sick babies stand on the outskirts of the little 
crowd, where also the empty bullock carts, that have been 
used as ambulance waggons for high-caste invalids, will be 
drawn up. Some of these suffering women and children will 
walk two or three days' journey for one bottle of medicine. 
In 1895, no fewer than 38,265 visits were paid to this Dis- 
pensary alone, and each patient who received a prescription, 
found on the back of the paper a very simple Gospel tract, 
printed in Bengali. These sick people, coming from nearly 
900 differe?it villages have thus carried back the two-fold gift 
of healing, for body and soul, to countless homes. 

No wonder that the Ratnapur workers long to replace the 
mud shelter, dignified by the name of " Hospital," by a clean, 
cool, properly furnished building, where serious cases may be 
received and dealt with as they need ! 

In dispensary work, patience — that virtue so greatly in 
demand in India — is often sorely tried. Some of the women, 
as they come for the first time, forget everything in gazing 
vacantly at the Miss Sahiba, and can only nod and reply 
" Yes " to every question put to them. Carefully as directions 
are given, some will misunderstand. A woman hands in a 
white bottle to the dispenser ; it is filled with red medicine 
and returned, but she refuses to take it. " It is not mine," 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 187 

she persists; " my bottle is white." It is quite a revelation to 
her that red medicine accounts for the change in colour ! 

These " impotent folk " never know the time ; and if it 
should happen to be a cloudy, wet morning, they still come to 
the dispensary three hours after it clears up and they see the 
sun, believing it to be about nine o'clock, though perhaps 
it is after noon ! 

It is hard work to persuade village patients that it is easier 
for the doctor and better for themselves to see and be seen 
one by one. What they would like best would be to rush into 
the tiny consulting room together, tell their symptoms and 
receive their medicine immediately. Sad experience and stern 
dispensers at length make them wiser and more willing to wait 
their turn ! A matter of considerable surprise, too, is it that 
all are treated with fairness, on the principle that the first to 
come are first to be served. The Brahman lady looks on con- 
temptuously, and thinks in her heart that things are coming 
to a pretty pass indeed, when her turn comes after that of a 
Sweeper-woman, and she has no more of the doctor's time 
than any one else. 

One of our fully qualified lady-doctors thus recounts her 
difficulties as a medical missionary : 

"The Hindus do not want water in their medicine, and so 
we. give them powders. The others use shells as measures, 
and these shells vary much in size. One woman will drink 
up medicine sufficient for three days in one night. Another 
will throw the medicine away, and then complain that she is 
no better. Another will eat the powder with the paper in which 
it is wrapped. Again, another will come up determined to 
have an eye powder. You assure her that her eyes are not in a 
fit state for a powder, and give her drops. She refuses them, 
and if you still decline to give her a powder for herself, she 
demands one for her aged mother at home. Poor women, 
shut up from babyhood in their own small village, is it any 



i88 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

wonder that they are so ignorant ? One woman brought her 
dear little girl. Alas ! it was too late ; we could not save the 
eyes. The poor mother said, ' I have been so careful j I have 
put the country medicine in every day.' We asked what it 
was, and this was the answer : ' A donkey's tooth ground up 
with charcoal, and the powder put into the child's eyes.' And 
for two whole months the mother had patiently applied this." 

An interesting account of Asrapiir Dispensary reaches us 
from Miss Kheroth Bose, in charge of the medical work at Ba- 
harwal Atari. After supplementing her Indian knowledge by 
two years' medical training in England, Miss Bose is showing 
what a noble sphere of usefulness to her countrywomen may 
be filled by a daughter of India. In 1890, when appointed to 
Baharwal Atari, she began to expand the medical work which 
was commenced, single-handed, by Mrs. Perkins, C.M.S. 

Mrs. Perkins' dispensary — begun in her bedroom for want 
of a better place — has now grown into a Hospital with eight 
fair-sized rooms, four of which, for the out-patients, are in a 
beautiful courtyard shaded by trees. In 1893, while 153 
cases were treated within those walls, the total number of 
visits from old and new patients was over 13,000. 

Miss Kheroth Bose speaks thus of the work at Asrapiir — 
" the Place of Hope." 

" I well remember how, in visiting the village of Baharwal 
with Mrs. Perkins in 1890, we tried to persuade the headman's 
wife to come to us for medicine for her little boy. She 
seemed to think it would be a great disgrace if she were seen 
in the Christians' compound, and made a great many excuses. 
At last she managed to summon up sufficient courage to come 
late in the afternoon, and sat, huddled up in a modest heap, 
outside our premises, until we discovered and brought her 
into the house ! To-day it is difficult to believe that any of 
the village women have ever been shy — so thoroughly at home 
do they make themselves now in all our rooms. They walk 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 189 

numbers of miles, and collect in crowds before the Hospital 
is open. They wait restlessly but good-humouredly enough, 
expressing their impatience by some such exclamation as, 
' Miss Sahiba, our necks have grown long with stretching them 
out for a sight of you ! ' or, ' We were young when we arrived, 
but have grown white-haired and old in your Hospital, waiting 
for your coming ! ' and so on." 

Of course there are lights and shadows in medical mission, 
as in all other work amid heathen darkness, and we find 
that Miss Bose continues : 

" It is discouraging to see the weary or hard look that 
comes into the face of some bigoted Muhammadan woman, 
who knows she must hear the oft-repeated story, so hateful to 
her, if she would have her medicine, and one's heart some- 
times fails. The very presence of this bigoted daughter of 
Islam seems a hindrance. Yet we remember such an one who, 
recovering from an almost incurable disease after months of 
patient, loving nursing at Asrapiir, has made an open confes- 
sion of faith, and is now a humble believer in the Lord Jesus. 
We see her telling others of Him Whom she has found, and 
the patients say that when any one of them is in great pain 
at night, Jiuni kneels by the bedside of the sufferer praying 
for relief, and God hears her prayer. The once stubborn 
Muhammadan woman is now being trained as a gentle Chris- 
tian nurse, and is preparing also for baptism. We thank God 
and take courage." 

Sick children, too, are cared for in this Place of Hope. 

11 Two little crippled boys have been left here by their 
relatives. Allah Ditta (given of God) was brought to us a 
year ago, and was so deformed with rickets that he could 
hardly move in be d. He can walk now without crutches, but 
will always be very crooked. He is anxious to be baptised ; 
but as he is only ten, and his parents are not Christians, 
though willing for him to be one, we are waiting till he is a 



i 9 o BEHIND THE PARDAH 

little older. He has learnt a great many verses and hymns, 
and has taught them all to the other cripple who came to us 
only a few months ago. Niyaz Ali's legs are quite contracted 
and wasted, and are fixed in such a way that he has to walk 
on hands and feet. He is a Sayard, i.e., a descendant of the 
Prophet himself — this is the highest Muhammadan rank — 
and he would always be maintained by the alms of the faith- 
ful. Some of the surrounding Moslems think it a disgrace 
and pity that he should live upon the charity of Christians, 
but they all agree that he is better off with us. The two 
cripples are very fond of racing each other for the amusement 
of the other patients, and their infirmities in nowise affect 
their spirits ! The danger is, that they will be spoilt with all 
the petting they receive." 

Nine years ago, at the request of the people themselves, a 
Medical Mission to women was begun in Batala, — name ever 
associated with the consecrated labours of A.L.O.E.,— by Miss 
Dixie, who ministered there unceasingly until her marriage in 
1897. Now, the Star Dispensary and Hospital open their doors 
widely to many thousands of patients in the year. Women 
and children flock thither, seeking medical relief. 

At Jandiala, more than eight thousand suffering sisters 
frequent the tiny Dispensary served by Mrs. Parthinkar. 
Easter Day, 1896, saw the baptism of old Mai Lachmi and 
her grandson. This woman, who all her life had been seeking 
God from shrine to shrine and from river to river, now rests 
in peace and joy in Jesus. The story of another Punjabi 
patient is even more interesting. With her son and many 
other pilgrims, she came up to the great Festival of Lights at 
Amritsar. Whilst they were in the crowd round the tank of 
the Golden Temple, her son was pushed in and drowned. In 
desperation she threw herself in, but was rescued. Sad and 
weary, bereft of all that made life dear, and sick in body, she 
wandered all the twelve long miles to Jandiala. At the Dis- 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 191 

pensary gate she was found, taken in, healed, and taught of 
Christ. Her soul found peace in Him ; she broke her caste, 
and was, at her own request, prepared for baptism. 

It is now ten years since we entered Narowal in Christ's 
name to set up a ' Shifakhana,' as a dispensary is often called 
in this part of India. The Medical Mission was first begun 
in a side-room of the ladies' dwelling-house ; six months later 
a small house in the town was hired for it ; the next year it 
was moved to a Mission-house, and five years ago it came to 
a block of buildings erected for it on a corner of the C.E.Z. 
compound. It was the devoted Miss Catchpool, taken Home 
in 1897, who, from the first, watched over this Mission with 
untiring devotion and energy. Miss Reuther, her valued 
fellow-labourer, now assisted by a fully trained nurse and dis- 
penser, is carrying on the two-fold ministry among as many as 
11,000 in a year. One would fain describe more fully each 
Medical Mission centre, each home of healing among the 
villages, but here is a pretty peep into St. Mary's Hospital, 
Taran Taran, given us by Miss Vines : 

" Half-past ten o'clock a.m., but the big ward— the Hospital 
itself — is empty. A long, narrow room, rather dark, for as 
much as possible of the Indian sun must be shut out, with 
a row of neat beds, whose bright quilts and painted names 
above tell of many loving hearts in England who are caring 
for the poor women out here. But where are the patients ? 

" Into the bright sunshine we go to find a courtyard full of 
people. Beds are arranged in groups out in the sun, patients are 
lying or squatting about, and such chatter is going on ! Those 
in the long, pink, English-made gowns, have come for treat- 
ment, but the others are friends and relatives. It seems a 
strange custom to us, but the women would never come in 
alone, and we are glad, as it increases the number of those 
who hear the Gospel daily, and see the work and lives of our 
Christian women in their own homes. 



i 9 2 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

11 That fat baby-girl, surrounded by a little group of women, 
has had her eye operated upon, and is busy pulling the bandage 
about. The young woman in trousers is her mother, the short 
little woman her grandmother, and, as to the other women, it 
is hopeless to find out the degrees of relationship existing 
between them ! They have walked nine miles to come here. 

11 Just now there is an influx of new patients. If you had 
come last week, they would have sung you a hymn, 
repeated texts, and answered simple questions. But those 
people have gone back to their homes, and next year, when 
their villages are visited, the old patients will be the first to 
greet the English ladies. And thus the work is interlinked — 
the Mission makes the Hospital possible, the Hospital makes 
friends of the women, suspicion is disarmed, and hatred 
changed to love. 

"Three little mites are sleeping soundly in the yard, and the 
school matron sits sewing near them ; little Yakub, who, for 
a wonder, is still ; baby Maryam, a motherless infant given to 
us by her father (a leper) ; and the last new-comer, a baby-girl 
of nine months, a poor, starved, nameless little creature found 
in a ditch." 

In this little Hospital the seed has not been sown in vain. 
In one instance, though the woman was taken away to her 
home, her mother and sister afterwards came with her dying 
message to the missionary in charge : " Go, tell her, deep down 
in my heart I have remembered all she has taught me, and I 
believe in Jesus." She refused to have any of the Hindu 
ceremonies for the dying performed on her. In another case, 
as the end drew near, a patient's relatives wished to take her 
away, but she utterly refused to go. " Do not send me away, 
my sister ; I wish to die here," she pleaded, looking wistfully 
at the nurse. On being asked whether she were afraid, she 
replied happily, " No, Jesus is close to me ; I am going to 
Him!" 



CHAPTER XI 

Our Suffering Sisters 

behind the Pardah — II 



Draw back many a shadowing curtain of despair, or shame, or sin ; 
Speak sweet messages of mercy, let the rosy daylight in ; 
Go and soothe away the anguish, go and kiss away the tears ; 
In the radiance of your smiling let sad hearts forget their fears." 

— C. Pennefaihcr. 

HE visits of our trained nurses and 

■^ ■■.. ■ ..■■■....-^■ ■■ . ■ •■■■■fiS I other workers to the homes of the 

£sf%tf$M& fffito&l^ people reveal numberless instances 

of heathen cruelty and folly. 
Here, a poor child will undergo 
the miserable ceremony of exorcis- 
ing the " evil spirit " ; which is, in 
reality, the delirium caused by 
high fever. One of our mission- 
aries at Ajnala witnessed this dis- 
tressing scene : 

" Hearing the noise of a drum, I asked what it was, and 
the women told me it was a ' girl playing.' It seems she had 
been very ill for two months, and as all remedies had failed, 
the hakim (doctor) said she must be under the power of an 
evil spirit. The ' magicians ' were sent for to exorcise the 
demon. In a small, hot room, was a crowd of men, women, 
and children ; in the middle the two ( wizards ' — leering men, 
with faces sodden with good living and evil doing. One beat 
a drum, the other thumped with brass pokers on a metal 

193 o 




i 94 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

instrument. At intervals they recited incantations. The 
patient was lying on the ground before them, while a woman 
ironed her with a hot brick. ' Lift her up,' said one of the 
'wizards.' This was done, and then began a most sickening 
sight. She writhed backwards and forwards, like a snake 
being charmed, the movements getting quicker and quicker 
as the drum beat louder ; then she knocked her head and 
long black hair upon the ground. I spoke to the mother, 
but it was of no use, and the evil-looking men beat the 
drum more furiously than ever. In such places Satan's seat 
is firm." 

Sometimes, it is a father who refuses to give his child 
quinine because she is " only a girl," and had better die, as 
he cannot afford to get her married. In another house, a 
woman dies, simply because the native doctor thinks that starva- 
tion is the best remedy for fever and its after-effects ! Many 
a life might be saved if only the lady medical missionary were 
called in at once ; but the usual thing is to try all their own 
medicines, and then, when they obtain no benefit, to come 
to the Miss Sahiba. Or, again, a Hindu patient absolutely 
refuses to take milk — she is forbidden by her religion to drink 
soup — because she believes that if any one who has fever 
takes milk and dies, her soul goes into a snake. 

The greatest care must be taken to offend no prejudices, 
and to avoid alarming the patient by an unwary display of 
even the simplest implement — a towel, provided for washing 
hands, being regarded, sometimes, with the greatest suspicion, 
and the patient insisting on having it opened out to prove that 
it is not concealing something that cuts or pricks. While 
clamouring for orders as to what may be eaten, etc., an objec- 
tion is made to every proposal ; and yet, if told anything and 
everything may be taken, the relatives will at once conclude 
that a doctor who is not particular about diet knows nothing 
at all ! The medicine, they insist, must relieve pain, give 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 195 

appetite, produce sleep, secure strength, etc., but it must not 
be bitter or sour, strong or heating. The Doctor Miss 
Sahiba, having received these injunctions many times over, 
is urged to come again and to make the patient well quickly. 
Probably, the next day she finds that nothing has been at- 
tended to, the medicine has been voted by the friends 
" unsuitable," and the patient is as bad, or worse. 

But prayer and patience have their reward, even in such 
disappointing cases, and confidence is won. 

In one rich Brahman house the women were so bigoted 
that, although they had called Miss Phailbus, of Krishnagar, 
they would not allow her to do anything for the patient at 
first. They called on their gods continually, at one time 
telling her to move away from the door, as the goddess Panchu 
was coming in to visit the patient. The poor sick woman 
had to eat things that had been offered to the idol, smell 
roots, look at the leaf of a banyan tree covered with 'man- 
tras,' i.e., prayers, and listen all the time to her friends and 
relatives shouting out, " Oh, Durga, save us ! Oh, Durga, save 
us ! " The threshold of her door was covered with offerings 
to the goddess. That day, Miss Phailbus could do nothing, 
but, the following morning, after a successful operation had 
been performed, she was told, " We do not believe in the 
goddess Panchu any longer ; and if the priestess appear again, 
we will send her to court." The third day, all the women 
being in a much calmer frame of mind, they listened to the 
Words of Life and to the singing of a hymn, " No salvation 
apart from Jesus." The following week Miss Mackenzie 
visited them, and found them much softened and ready for 
regular teaching. 

Space fails us for more than a passing glimpse at Dera 
Ismail Khan, where Miss Rose Johnson, a trained nurse, until 
the autumn of 1896, held the Medical Mission fort alone for 
ten years. Yet how deeply interesting is her testimony ! 



i 9 6 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

"I have been looking through my diary of 1885, with the 
following result : Patients seen in first four months, 2,083 > 
visits, twenty-two in four months. In those days, patients 
were beaten for coming to me ; others had to go down to the 
river to wash off the defilement of my having felt their pulse. 
This year, in the first four months, number of patients, 3,275 ; 
of visits, 275. Three or four times every week I have to 
refuse work and visits. Instead of fearing me, the people like 
me to stay as long as I can ; and if only people could hear 
how they grumble at me for not visiting them oftener, I should 
be pitied ! " 

The Duchess of Connaught Hospital (C.M.S.), standing to- 
day in the heart of that fanatical city, Peshawar, is a testimony 
to what God hath wrought within a modern Jericho. This 
very Oriental city of 80,000 souls, at one time surrounded 
by high walls, with sixteen gates, closed at nightfall, is being 
captured for the Lord of Hosts. The only Europeans living 
within its walls have been the ladies of the C.E.Z.M.S. 
Gradually the barriers are being demolished ; for the wave of 
progress passing over India has reached even Peshawar. God 
grant that the walls of bigotry and false faith may likewise 
soon totter to their downfall ! 

Standing on the north-western frontier of India, Peshawar 
city is the thoroughfare for caravans, which bring representa- 
tives from all parts of Central Asia to trade in its busy streets. 
In the heart of the city there are large houses, the existence of 
which few would suspect, which conceal women, whose 
retirement is even more complete. When illness enters such 
homes, it is a fearful time for the hapless women-sufferers, 
dependent on the care of ignorant " nurses " — the term sounds 
like a mockery to any one who has witnessed their medical 
treatment. 

In 1884, one small Dispensary was opened by our workers. 
But, at first, the patients feared to come inside, and anxiously 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 197 

peered into the room, to make sure that no man was secreted 
there. A medical woman was beyond their ken. Very gradu- 
ally their confidence was gained. 

" They came to us from long distances," says Miss Mitche- 
son. "One woman, who lived in Khorassan, travelled for 
seven days to see me. She seemed to be dying. I saw that 
an operation was necessary, and asked her to let me send 
for the surgeon. She answered, 'No, I would rather die,' 
and begged me to help her. I did what was necessary, and 
she stayed with us for some time, and recovered. Every day 
I talked with her of Christ. Since she has returned to her 
own country, cured, she has sent many of her own country- 
women to us." 

In 1888, the Duchess of Connaught graciously allowed the 
tiny Hospital, that had been opened and enlarged already, to 
be named after her ; and to-day, this has been replaced by a 
beautifully planned building holding thirty patients. 

In 1895, on returning from furlough as a fully qualified 
lady-doctor, Miss Mitcheson thankfully contrasted the bright 
new Hospital, with its Barvvise Memorial block for women, 
with "the few empty, small, dark store-rooms" which in 1886 
were altered and adapted to serve as Hospital wards. " Now, 
in nine years' time, there is a fine, roomy, well-ventilated ward, 
containing twenty-one beds, and four small rooms for private 
nursing." Opposition, at one time so rife, so bitter in Pesha- 
war, is dying down, and the women come freely to the 
Hospital. 

Of Dr. Charlotte Wheeler's labours at Quetta, many thrill- 
ing stories might be told. In the spring of 1895, the pleasant 
little Hospital at Quetta — long an urgent need — was opened, 
and since then a stream of patients has steadily flowed through 
it. During the time that the plague surrounded, though it 
did not attack, Quetta, in 1897, in spite of terrible stories 
going about to the effect that people coming for treatment to 



198 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

the Hospital would be carried off and poisoned, and that the 
bodies of the children of the plague-stricken would be covered 
with oil and burnt, out-patients came daily, and our workers 
stood bravely to their posts. 

Some of the patients' own descriptions of their illnesses are 
amusing and original. Even the untaught, unread women are 
so accustomed to metaphor, that their use of it becomes a 
fertile cause of difficulty to beginners in the language. Dr. 
Wheeler tells us of one woman coming to the Dispensary for 
medicine, complaining of fever and a cough ; she, however, 
spoke of the fever as a snake, and the cough it had left be- 
hind as the trail of the snake ! 

The fact that eight languages are spoken by the women 
around adds considerably to the difficulty of Medical Mission 
work in Quetta. The value of Christian native helpers is 
nowhere more realised than in the mission work of the Dis- 
pensary. At every station, during the Dispensary hours, the 
group of waiting patients, attentively listening to their country- 
woman fluently expounding the Gospel message in their own 
tongue and dialect, is a glad and stirring sight. At Quetta, 
Mrs. Hasrat Ali, the daughter of Padre Imam Shah, of 
Peshawar, acts as nurse and Bible- woman in turn ; while the 
daughter of the Haidarabad catechist is dispenser and patients' 
dresser. 

Special visitations of sickness bring special opportunities 
to our medical workers, of which they eagerly and often 
heroically take advantage. Early in 1897, when the terrible 
plague began to ravage the Sind province, the Hindu Pan- 
chayat (Council) of Haidarabad opened a temporary hospital 
for their people, and the managers sent a request that a 
C.E.Z.M.S. lady would kindly come to their help. For many 
weeks, Miss Piggott was enabled to accept the onerous post of 
superintendent and nurse, and by God's mercy was kept in 
perfect health. " It was quite touching," she wrote, " to see 




i 9 9 



200 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



the faith that the sick placed in us. The mothers would 
ask me just to put my hands on their sons, and one boy, for 
more than a week, would take nothing except from me. Only 
one woman appeared to remember that she was a Hindu and 
I a Christian. One patient, a former mission school boy, died 
confessing Christ quite boldly." 

In Karachi, although, owing to this fell disease, the streets 
(red with carbolic by Government provision) were deserted, 
shops were closed, and few houses escaped the visitation, no 
fear of contagion kept our missionaries from their work. Every 

precaution was taken to 
avoid carrying infection : 
any day that a worker felt 
below par she wisely re- 
frained from exposing her- 
self to it ; but they trusted 
God and were kept from 
harm. One of the terrible 
features of the plague was 
the rapidity of its course. 
A man walking in the streets 
at three p.m. would have 
passed away before six 
o'clock that same afternoon. 
No wonder that our missionaries felt that then, more than 
ever, they were needed in those houses of sorrow ! 
Writing at the end of March, 1897, Miss Brook says : 
"The plague has suddenly begun with rapid strides in 
Sukkur. It is so sad to go through the streets and from 
house to house where we have taught and not find one man, 
woman, or child. On many doors, a large red cross and little 
red mark of sealing-wax over the lock means that the plague 
has been in the house. Going into one little ' ghitli ' (i.e., 
alley) where I had been a few days before, I found every house 




MOTHER AND SICK SON. 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 201 

but one closed and bolted. One door was standing open and 
I entered. All the walls, inside and out, were whitewashed ; 
not a sound was to be heard. But, in the perfectly silent 
room, I saw a cot, and on it a woman covered with thick 
clothes, while, at the head of the bed, knelt a young man. I 
said, ' Is she ill ? ' and, coming nearer, found it was a dear little 
friend of mine, ' Rochi.' A short time ago she had taken me 
into her house, and many women had gathered around to listen 
to the Message. After that, I had met her by the river side, 
and she had said, ' I wish you would teach me alone. I want 
to learn, but when you come to my house, so many others 
crowd in. I want to have just you alone with me so that I 
can learn.' 

"She was so pleased to see me, and I squatted on the 
ground beside her. She showed me her mouth and other 
swellings on her body, and then she said, ' Shall I die ? ' I 
said, ' Rochi, I cannot give you false comfort ; I think you 
will.' She began to cry. I said, 'You need not cry nor be 
afraid, and I will just tell you why.' Then she was quiet, and 
I told her of Jesus and His love, and said, ' If you trust Him, 
tell Him so.' She said slowly but quite clearly, ' Lord Jesus, 
I trust Thee ! ' Then I prayed again, and said, ' When you 
are afraid' (she immediately broke in 'No, I am not 
afraid ') or when you have pain, say " Lord Jesus." He 
will know, He will help you.' She put out her hand and 
took hold of my face. She was hot with fever, and must have 
been suffering much. All the time until I left she continued 
to say at intervals ■ Lord Jesus.' 

" She begged me to come again. When I went this morning, 
her husband was there, weeping : Rochi had just passed away." 

The history of our Kashmir Mission has been singularly 
eventful, and the scene of devotion which must ever give it a 
sacred interest. As in the case of St. Catherine's Hospital, so 
here, only a fragmentary sketch of Christlike labours abundant 



202 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



can be given. No more splendid opening for the work of the 
Double Healer can be found than in the Vale of Kashmir — 
the Switzerland of the East. And because comparatively little 
is known of this wonderful country, perhaps the most beautiful 
in the world, and because, too, our generous artists have chosen 

so many subjects from it 
for their brush and pen, 
we may be pardoned for 
lingering longer over the 
story of our station there. 
Kashmir, as large as 
England without Wales, 
the most important out- 
post of India, and a great 
centre leading to many 
countries of the world, 
should be a highway 
of the Gospel. No 
fewer than thirteen 
languages are spoken 
within its bound- 
aries, the principal 
one of which, 
Kashmiri, has a 
different dialect every 
few miles through- 
"*^^>T^^ sFg " out the valley. The 

Vale of Kashmir, about eighty miles long, containing some 
4,606 villages, is entirely surrounded by vast snowy mountains 
rising into sublime peaks, 20,000 feet high. The river Jhelum 
(whose curving course first suggested the well-known pine- 
shaped pattern of the renowed Kashmir shawls) winds its way 
through emerald meadows, and beside gardens, groves, and 
orchards, or spreads itself out into a clear lake, reflecting vine- 




OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 203 

festooned poplars and hoary heights on its bright bosom, until 
it gains the wilder scenery beyond " the Happy Valley," and 
rushes boisterously and with booming roar on its way to 
the plains of the Punjab. Nearly every English fruit and 
vegetable grows luxuriant in an almost Italian climate. 
Gulmarg, the vale of flowers, is a veritable fairy-land of 
blossoms, where the rose and jasmine, marigold and autumn 
crocus, with a thousand others, weave rich veils of many 
colours for acres of its fertile soil to wear. 

The history of Kashmir is as interesting as its scenery. But 
on this we may not dwell. Enough for us to realise that the 
snowy circle of mountains embraces half a million who know 
not God. The story of the patient working and waiting of 
pioneer missionaries for forty years ere mission work of any 
kind could be begun, must also be passed by, in order that 
we may tell of suffering Kashmiri women and their needs in 
and around Srinagar. 

The city of Srinagar, the principal town of Kashmir, has 
been called the Venice of the East. It is extremely pictur- 
esque, with its wooden houses, rather of the Swiss chalet type, 
built on both sides of the river, which, until the recent floods, 
was spanned by seven wooden bridges. Boats, the principal 
mode of conveyance, are the homes of a large population from 
birth till death. These river-craft are generally roofed with 
matting and propelled with spade-like oars. 

But, in spite of its network of water highways, Srinagar con- 
tinues to be one of the dirtiest cities in the world. From the 
almost stagnant canals over which its crowded houses hang, 
women, from day to day, fill their vessels of drinking water 
with the foul green slime ! The wonder is, not that pestilence 
visits Srinagar, but that it ever leaves it. In 1892, during an 
awful visitation of cholera, 2,542 deaths were registered. 
During one week alone, 1,600 were swept away. Our mis- 
sionaries stood between the living and the dead. 



204 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



Only those who live and labour there can possibly realise 
what dirt, squalor, and disease, what awful ignorance and 
gross superstition crowd the Kashmiri's home. When the late 
Colonel Martin and the Rev. Robert Clark first visited 

Kashmir to endeavour to 
establish a mission there, 
it was the late Maharaja 
Guleb Singh who, in giving 
his consent, said that the 
Kashmiris were so bad 
that he was quite sure that 
the missionaries could do 
them no harm ! 

The people, men and 
women, dress in ' pherans,' 
a grey-coloured, loose, long- 
sleeved gown, with a tuck 
near the knees. In winter, 
two or three of these are 
worn at once; and amongst 
the poor, the outer garment 
is only one of several 
generations of pherans in- 
side. These, as a rule, 
are neither washed nor 
changed till the ruin 
falls to pieces of itself. 

The women, who are 
fair and often extremely 
handsome, wear a red cap with a cloth thrown over it and 
hanging behind, the hair being either loose or dressed in 
numberless tiny plaits descending over back and shoulders, 
and joined together at the extreme ends by ropes of black 
string. 




A KASHMIRI GIRL, 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 



205 



Few women can read, and their ignorance is equalled only 
by their want of cleanliness. " Dear Kashmiri women ! " ex- 
claimed one of our missionaries in despair, as they crowded 
round her on a hot summer afternoon, " why won't you 
wash ? " And the answer was, " We have been oppressed too 
long to care to be clean." 

It was the lamented Dr. Fanny Butler, transferred from 
medical work at 
Bhagulpur, who, to- 
gether with her de- 
voted colleague, 
Miss Hull, in 1888, 
inaugurated Medi- 
cal Mission work 
amongst the Kash- 
miri women, by 
opening a Dispen- 
sary and tiny Hos- 
pital in a hired 
native house neai 
the Third Bridge, in 
the very heart of the 
city of Srinagar. 
Later on, they were reinforced by the arrival of Miss Rainsford 
and Miss Newman (a trained nurse), and by the end of the year 
there had been 5,000 attendances, and 2,000 women had 
heard the Glad Tidings. Residence in the city was, however, 
forbidden the missionaries. Living at four miles' distance, it 
was impossible to think of hospital work except on the most 
limited scale. Permission to reside in the city must be gained. 
It was Dr. Fanny Butler's privilege and honour to be the 
instrument in overcoming the resistance of the native Govern- 
ment. Mrs. Bishop (nSe Bird, the authoress and traveller), 
visiting Kashmir gave the necessary sum for building a 




(the late) dr. fanny butler at work. 



2o6 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

Dispensary, and Women's Hospital to accommodate sixty 
patients, in memory of her husband, Dr. John Bishop, of 
Edinburgh. But, it was only a fortnight after the foundations 
of the new building were laid that the brave pioneer herself, 
Dr. Butler, after a few days' illness, was called Home to God. 
The same little boat and boatmen which had so often taken 
her to her work in the Hospital, bore her quietly down the 
river to her last resting-place. The native servants begged 
the honour of bearing her from the boat to the grave. " They 
had eaten her salt, and no one else must carry her." 

Since that memorable time, our C.E.Z.M.S. work in Kash- 
mir has undergone many severe vicissitudes. A succession of 
brave and skilled lady workers and nurses have carried on the 
ministry of healing, with the ever ready and valuable help 
and advice of Drs. A. and E. Neve, of the C.M.S. Hospital, 
and as many as 10,000 patients have been medically treated 
by them in a single year. But, in 1891, a terrible flood rendered 
the new Memorial building uninhabitable, and our mission- 
aries had to resort to temporary premises. Almost immedi- 
ately afterwards, a fire, by which 9,000 houses were destroyed, 
and the visitation of cholera to which we have already referred, 
caused a heavy strain on the sympathies and strength of our 
workers, at a time when the medical staff was in sore need of 
re-inforcements. For a time it seemed as if this needy field 
must be left without a separate C.E.Z.M.S. Medical Mission 
work among the women ; but, thank God, to-day we have not 
only Miss Newnham in charge of the female ward of the 
C.M.S. Hospital, but Miss B. Foy has been appointed to 
open medical work in connection with Miss Hull's Kashmir 
Mission. Miss Foy and her sister, Miss L. Foy, who now 
works the Ajnala medical branch, were country-born English 
girls, trained at St. Catherine's, Amritsar. 

At Bangalore, the Gasha Hospital for Muhammadan women, 
who are kept in strict seclusion (' gasha,' the South Indian term 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 



207 



for pardah system), is a singularly interesting branch of medical 
mission work. Under the care of Miss Amy Lillingston, Miss 
Walker, a trained nurse, and three Christian native women in 
training, more than seventy in-patients were tenderly nursed 
during the first few months of 1897. The Muhammadans 
are gaining confidence, and are leaving their women more 
trustfully to the Christian missionaries' care, since they find 
that they will be " really gasha," and therefore safe ! 



Sfe 




INSIDE THE 'GASHA' HOSPITAL. 



"Jena Bi and Sherifa Bi are typical patients," says Miss 
Lillingston, " both gasha women. Jena Bi had acute rheuma- 
tism, and was suffering much when she came. From the day 
of her marriage she had never left her Zenana home until she 
entered the hospital. Sherifa Bi is a little wife of sixteen or 
seventeen, with a very pretty child-like face. She has listened 
very little to the teaching, being chiefly concerned with her 
sufferings, poor little girl. The patients almost invariably 
bring a relative with them ; and Jena Bi and her friend have 



208 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

been much interested in the large picture of the brazen serpent 
in the wilderness, which hangs at one end of the ward. 

" We very much need to be remembered in prayer. The 
work here, with all its gladness, has so much of grave and 
solemn responsibility. If we had time and strength, every 
patient who leaves the Hospital should be visited regularly, at 
least for a few weeks. We cannot allow the nurses to visit 
alone, even two together, as it would be considered most im- 
proper for young Indian women to be without an escort. 

11 A certain proportion of our patients are native Christians ; 
and as we have learnt more of the state of the native Church, 
we gladly welcome them, knowing how sorely they need to be 
taught the difference between nominal and real Christianity. 
In many cases their lives sadly dishonour their profession, 
and they scarcely know more than the name of Christ, and 
have a vague belief that, in some mysterious way, they are 
saved by believing that He is God, and by calling on Him just 
as the Heathen call on Krishna or Ram. Thank God, there 
are some bright exceptions ; but when friends at home pray 
for the work among Hindus and Muhammadans, will they also 
specially remember the hundreds of nominal Christians in 
Bangalore ? " 

In 1885, we sent a trained nurse, Miss Graham, to Dumma- 
gudem — a far-away outpost — to join the C.M.S. missionaries, 
the Rev. J. and Mrs. Cain, in order to tend and teach the 
suffering women of the Kois. These people are the remnant 
of a timid and dying-out race belonging to the hills above the 
Godavari River. Their responsiveness to Miss Graham's sym- 
pathy and care were well shown on one occasion, after her 
first well-earned furlough. All, Christian and Heathen alike, 
vied with each other to welcome her back. The merchants 
had decorated the bazar with strings of leaves and small flags. 
The chief people came to escort the lady missionary, and 
most loving addresses in Telugu were read. 



OUR SUFFERING SISTERS 209 

To Miss Graham's work the following testimony is borne 
by Mrs. Morley, wife of the Bishop of Tinnevelly, and mem- 
ber of the C.E.Z. Madras Corresponding Committee, in an 
account of a visit paid by her to this outpost in December, 1895 : 

"Evangelistic work is going on daily in the Dispensary, 
where Miss Graham, a devoted C.E.Z. missionary, attends 
between 800 and 900 patients a month. Her helper at present 
is a young caste man, who had to leave his home three years 
ago, when he gave up his old habit of opium eating and ' ganjai.' 
He preaches to the people who wait for treatment." 

Yet in spite of the welcome given to messengers of Christ, 
so strong a grip does Hinduism maintain of this very place 
that as recently as 1895, on tne **sit °f an important Hindu 
guru (priest), the shops were closed, the caste people, in great 
excitement, flocked to him with large sums of money, some of 
them prostrating themselves before him, or pouring on their 
heads the water in which his feet had been bathed ! 

In our hurried glance at these varied fields of labour, each 
with its own peculiar interest, we may not attempt to portray 
the devoted labours of our nurses at Kummamett and Palam- 
cottah, or the Hospital for Sick Children, which, through the 
exertions of Miss Askwith and Miss Swainson, has been added 
to the Sarah Tucker Institution, and which the Governor of 
Madras describes in the visitors' book as "a little gem." But, 
for a moment, we must pause before two places of healing 
which we claim in our Travancore and Cochin Mission. In 
the Fern Hill Dispensary for Women and Children at Trevan- 
drum, Miss Lena Beaumont, a fully qualified apothecary from 
Madras, is ministering to the needs of more than a thousand 
sufferers in a month ; and at Trichur, the capital of Cochin, 
the Misses Coleman have been dispensing the twofold gift of 
healing for body and soul unremittingly since 1881. Their 
valuable and devoted labours are, perhaps, little known, since 
they write seldom, and do not come to England. Yet this 



210 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

Medical Mission is not only one of the oldest of the C.E.Z.M.S. 

centres, but one of the richest in the best results. In 1893, 

at a time when sorrow and sickness were rife at Trichur, the 

workers bravely remained at their posts, taking advantage of 

every new opportunity of carrying the message of God's love 

in Christ to the stricken people. Of the Bible-women at this 

time Miss Coleman wrote : 

"Without fear, they have been going into houses where 

three or four persons in one room were laid down with 

cholera. This has brought us into closer touch with all castes, 

from the highest downwards, and has made friends of some 

who, before, were enemies of the Truth." 

* * * * * 

Our story of India's suffering womanhood is ended. But 
the half has not been told. Listen for one moment longer. 

" Shall I feel it, mother, when you burn me ? 1 Oh, mother, 
I shall be all alone, no one will be with me there." Such 
were the agonised words that burst from the lips of a young 
woman in India as she lay dying. They told the deep 
anguish of a soul about to pass into Eternity without Christ, 
without hope. "No one will be with me there" — it is the 
despairing thought of millions of India's daughters to-day as 
they are passing away. Dying — dying so fast — for want of 
a sister's care ! Dying in countless numbers — dying in the 
dark — for want of a sister's hand to hold out the torch of the 
Light of Life ! 

If we do not hasten to them now, how shall we face that 
once yearning, suffering throng in the great Hereafter ? Will 
not their pleading, pitiful cry, now sounding in our ears, "Come 
over and heal us," haunt us through the long ages of Eternity? 

Shall we listen to the King's sorrowful, soul-thrilling re- 
proach — "I was sick . . . and ye visited ME not" — 
only whe?i the opportunity is gone FOR EVER ? 

1 Referring to the Hindu custom of burning their dead. 



CHAPTER XII 



The Daughters of Islam 



' ' Islam is nothing but a corpse, and the souls enthralled in it are 
dead souls — blind and cold and stiff in death as no Heathen are. But 
we who love them see the possibilities of sacrifice, of endurance, of 
enthusiasm, of life, not yet effaced. If you could see them to-day, 
the grave intelligent men, the women with their native brightness 
struggling through the fetters of generations of ignorance and bond- 
age, the sweet, brown-skinned, dark-eyed children, as lovable, as full 
of possibilities as our boys and girls at home, you would not say that 
anything short of Christ was ' good enough' for them." 

— From "A Challenge to Faith," by I. Lilias Trotter. 



WEARY, suffering Moslem woman 
is fast dying of consumption. Be- 
side her sits her Zenana mission- 
ary-friend, telling in soft winning 
accents the Old, Old Story, so full 
of comfort, light, and love for a 
soul on the threshold of Eternity. 
But as soon as she begins, other 
daughters of Islam who crowd 
the sick room chatter noisily, 
interrupt with loud interrogations, and forbid the sick woman 
to listen by menacing signs. Left alone for a few seconds, 
the sufferer looks up with a face full of yearning pain. " Miss 
Sahiba," she whispers hoarsely, " they will not bury me when 
I die, if they think I like listening to you." But the precious 
seed has been sown. " My Word shall not return to Me void." 




212 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

The scene changes. The ■ Miss Sahiba ' is seated under the 
shadow of a mosque, and the 'Muzzin' is shouting out the 
call to prayer from one of its minarets. She is paying a first 
visit to the house of the ' maulvi,' or priest. The women are 
very bigoted, they argue fiercely, and, having exhausted all the 
arguments that they know, they despatch a little boy to fetch 
one of the men. He comes in, and the war is continued with 
greater vehemence. A scene like this rouses enthusiasm, the 
missionary feels heedless of consequences. Never again, 
probably, will she be admitted into this house, and she dares 
anything in telling them this once "the truth as it is in Jesus." 

Let us pass out from the oppressive atmosphere of the 
Moslem city — " steeped in the power of Satan " — into the 
Muhammadan ' para' (quarter) of the village, and take up the 
diary of an itinerating missionary, Miss G. Hetherington, in 
the Punjab. 

" Gagga. Here are two c lambardars,' i.e., headmen, and I 
proceed to the house of the first ; but the village barber is in 
the field before me, and although I manage to get a ' manji ' 
(bedstead) to sit on in a sheltered corner, the barber evidently 
excites the more interest of the two. The noise is great, and 
th2 women begin to ply me with questions in very high-pitched 
voices, although I assure them that I am not deaf. Would they 
like to hear a hymn ■ to the praise of God ' ? No, even that 
has no effect, for though the noise is subdued a little during 
the singing, it breaks out with double force as soon as it is 
over ; so I take my way to house No. 2. These are not noisy 
women, but on the defensive. ' We say our ■ namaz ' 
(prayers), fast, repeat God's Name, read the 'Kalima' (Mu- 
hammadan confession of faith), and therefore are sure to go 
to heaven.' 'But is that enough? What of the lying and 
bad language even while you are, as you say, doing God's 
work ? ' * Oh, but we are married, and have our worldly work 
to do, and who could do that without telling lies, and how 



THE DAUGHTERS OF ISLAM 213 

could we pass the day without backbiting ? You ' (this in a 
very superior tone) ' of course have nothing to do ; you do 
not sew and spin.' On assuring them to the contrary, a 
woman produces a spinning wheel, and setting it on the 
manji beside me says, ' Then do it, and show us ! \ But even 
the novelty of seeing a Miss Sahiba spin does not last long, 
and very soon the old arguments come up. No, they are 
quite satisfied. Awful thought ! 

" Phulpur. One woman is cleaning cotton. ' I have come 
to see you after a long time, sister; won't you let me sit down ? ' 
A prolonged stare — ' Jam, jam khalo ' (you are very welcome 
to stand !). It is not encouraging, so I go round the corner 
and find a woman sewing a ' kurta.' I ask her to let me help, 
and much to my joy others come, and as long as I sew they 
listen nicely ; but alas ! one of the noisy ones from another 
house finds me out, and the quiet is at an end." 

Yet, though the shadows of Moslem bigotry and fanaticism 
are so deep, all is not darkness. In the solid phalanx of 
enmity to the cross of Christ on the Muhammadan battlefield 
there are breaches in the ranks which, thank God, are widen- 
ing surely and perceptibly day by day. But for " the spell of 
unbelief upon us," there would be more than a quavering in 
the strong line of battle array. Let us strengthen our faith by 
glancing at encouragements that have lit up the hearts of those 
of our workers who, perhaps, are bearing the heaviest cross for 
the sake of Christ in the hottest part of the field. 

"I think," says Miss Ling, of Ootacamund, " that the Muham- 
madans are the section of the lost sheep who are the hardest 
to seek. They set their faces like a flint against every effort 
made to help them. But even among these, the light is pene- 
trating. To one woman I was reading the sacred story of the 
Crucifixion. On hearing of the veil being rent, she said, ' Yes, 
I know that means that the way to God has been opened.' 
Many Moslem families, who formerly raised cries of blasphemy 



2i 4 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

every time the Name of the Son of God was mentioned, listen 
quietly with interest to the Gospel story." 

Muhammadan women, if they are pious, pray five times a 
day, standing or bowing on their praying mat, with their faces 
towards Mecca. They fast diligently during Ramazan and 
weep themselves blind during Moharram, special mourning 
services being held in the houses j but they seldom go to the 
mosques. Muhammadan women are compelled by their re- 
ligion to read the Koran ; and because it is unlawful that it 
should be translated from the original Arabic, Muhammadan 
children have to commit to memory that most difficult 
character. Yet, since a woman may not have the Koran 
explained to her, she does not understand the meaning of one 
word, but reads it only as a sort of charm or an act of merit. 
But still, many of these women, brought up strictly in the 
Moslem faith from babyhood, are able to defend their religion 
and to argue in a way that is at first very surprising, although, 
of course, their arguments are often childish in the extreme. 

Muhammadan work in Calcutta is beset with peculiar diffi- 
culties. The followers of the False Prophet are strongly pre- 
judiced against Western ideas. Miss Sophia L. Mulvany, 
since 1881, has laboured with prayerful, hopeful and tactful 
energy among the Moslem women, and to-day there are no 
fewer than six centres around Calcutta, and a staff of nineteen 
workers. 

In 1886, she was able to speak of 105 Zenana pupils and 
"ever-increasing openings." So vigorously has the work 
developed that in 1891, the tenth year only of organised 
work, there were six schools, with five native Christian and 
two Muhammadan teachers, and an attendance of more than 
150 children. Matya Burj school had become a model 
practising ground for the teachers ; and there had been one 
baptism which had greatly cheered the hearts of the workers, 
as the woman who thus confessed Christ was largely influenced 



THE DAUGHTERS OF ISLAM 



215 



by the consistent life of Jehangir and his wife, the firstfruits 
of the Mission, of whose conversion, baptism, confirmation and 
subsequent evangelistic work, much that is deeply interesting 
might be told. 

Perhaps, of all the encouragements received by our devoted 
workers among the daughters of Islam in Calcutta, none has 
been so great and remarkable as that of the conversion of 
Sirdar Begam, a Zenana pupil for whom Miss S. Mulvany 
wrestled in prayer, night and day, for many years, and over 
whom she is now rejoicing. Her husband, a bigoted old man 




A CLASS OF MOSLEM GIRLS. 



of wealth and position, subjected her to much petty persecution 
in the early days of her seeking after God, and after a time gave 
up supporting her, declaring that he had married her only for 
six months — a kind of marriage legal among Muhammadans. 

The father, furious with the man, as well he might be, and 
angry at the increasing influence of Christian teaching over 
his daughter, forced her into re-marriage with a man (already 
married) from Bhagulpur, who immediately quarrelled with 
his new relatives and left her ! 

In a journal written by Miss Bostock we find this entry, 
dated March 1st, 1895: 



2i6 BEHIND THE. PARDAH 

" I have seen many interesting sights during my winter 
visit to India, but the most heart-moving is that which I have 
witnessed this morning at the church in the Christian village 
of Muirabad. There were four baptisms. The converts were 
a dear Moslem woman, her two wee children and her father, 
a remarkably fine-looking old man. Miss S. Mulvany was 
made the instrument in God's hand of bringing her out of the 
cold, false religion of Muhammadanism into the soul-saving 
doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ. For twelve years she was 
visited and prayed for perseveringly, and at last had courage 
to come forward and confess her faith in Christ. Her hus- 
band was a bad man, and after a law-suit, the magistrates 
had handed her over to her parents to be taken care of, 
with her children. She was much beloved by her father and 
mother, both very strict Muhammadans, and while with them, 
she was made a blessing to her father. Her gentle life won 
him to read the Word of God, which was so precious to 
his daughter in the time of her affliction. The family were 
then living at Patna, and Miss Abraham (Z.B.M.M.) watered 
the good seed sown by the daughter, until her father, as well 
as she, was anxious for baptism, and they were brought to 
Allahabad as a safer place in which to hold the service than 
one where they were known. The whole family came, and 
we were astonished and rejoiced to see the mother, who still 
remains in her false religion, in church this morning at the 
baptism. The old man took the name of ' Abraham ' (after 
Miss Abraham), and his daughter that of 'Ruth'; the little 
boy, two-and-a-half years old, was named ' Gulam Mashi,' i.e., 
the slave of Christ, and the baby, ' Shirin,' i.e., sweetness. It 
was a most touching sight. Never can I forget dear Ruth's 
sweet face with its expression of ' peace, perfect peace.' In 
very delicate health, she had to be carried in a chair from 
the carriage, and was not able to stand during the service. 
Yet there she sat, unmoved by the pain she was suffering, 



THE DAUGHTERS OF ISLAM 217 

or by the fact that the church was crowded with men and 
women — this woman who had lived in pardah all her life — her 
thoughts, as she said afterwards, 'in heaven,' while she was 
' praising God for answering prayer in making her high-spirited 
little boy so quiet and good during the baptism.' " 

For ten years Mir Ibraham had prevented his daughter 
from confessing Christ by baptism, yet, though unaware of it 
at the time, he was restrained from forbidding her to read the 
Bible, even when most opposed to her learning English. He 
now acknowledges, with tears of repentance and gratitude, that 
it was God's power alone that held him back. 

Miss Abraham remarks in a letter home that one of her 
greatest grounds of confidence in Sirdar Begam's conversion 
has been the beautiful spirit of forgiveness she has evinced 
towards her husband, who had been so cruel to her. And, 
indeed, her own letters show this. 

In a touching letter from " Ruth," written recently to Miss 
S. Mulvany (which we quote verbatim), she says : 

" Offer this prayer also with me, that my husband, loving 
the Lord Jesus, may believe on Him, that his sins may be 
forgiven ; also that we may be brought together again. In 
fact, pray for all my people to be brought to Christ." 

And again : 

" Respected Mother, 

" I always remember you in my prayers, and ask the 
Lord Jesus to pour down His blessing upon you. My father 
goes with the Rev. Nihal Singh to the city to preach, and I 
give God thousand thanks that now He has given him such a 
mind that he is ready to do His work. I am hoping to God 
that one day my husband will confess the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Will you kindly give my many, many salams and love to all 
the ladies who are praying for me . . . and to your sister 
(Miss E. F. Mulvany, of Bardwan). I daily remember her in 



2i3 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

my prayers. May the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of us 
all, be with you in all you do, and give you both spiritual 
power and bodily strength, and when you return to India, I 
and you and all will rejoice and sing the hymns of the Lord 
Jesus and praise Him. . . . 

" I am your true disciple, 

" Ruth Sirdar Begam 

" (with my own special pen)." 

Side by side with the life-story of this singularly interesting 
daughter of Islam, now among her Christian missionary 
friends, runs that of Sultani Begam, another Muhammadan lady, 
also a true convert. Brought to Christ at Matya Burj through 
Miss Roseboom's influence, she was baptised on New Year's 
Day, 1894. It was Sirdar Begam who, years before, had in- 
troduced her to our workers in Calcutta. Esther Sultani 
Begam is now at work among the Moslem Zenanas of 
Allahabad (under the Z.B.M.M.), and of her Miss S. Mulvany 
says, "She so earnestly longs to bring her 'quamwalli,' i.e., 
women of her own nation, to Christ, that I believe He has 
great purposes of blessing for those to whom He may send 
her." The Sultani herself remarked not long since, " I always 
used to wonder why my Miss Sahiba and other Christians 
were so keen about every one coming to Christ, but now I 
know, for I long for this myself." 

In December, 1896, Miss S. Mulvany visited Allahabad, 
and said : 

" It has been a delight to see the converts from Matya 
Burj, Maryam Begam, Esther Sultani Begam, Ruth Sirdar 
Begam, and Mir Ibraham, and to have had special prayer with 
them for that place. The earnest prayer which Esther Sultdni 
Begam offered for me in returning to the work seemed as 
much a dismissal from His faithful servants as a dismissal 
meeting at home. 



THE DAUGHTERS OF ISLAM 219 

" It is a joy to find Ruth Sirdar Begam and her father in 
the outward fold of Christ's church, and so evidently in Him 
experimentally and spiritually. Her mother's prejudice is 
beginning to lessen, and all are expecting and claiming by 
faith that she will soon experience a real change of heart. 

" Maryam Begam, a Saidani, i.e. t direct descendant of 
Muhammad, was the first case with which I was con- 
nected of a Moslem lady coming out as a Christian. First 
brought to the Lord by Miss Hadden, of Lucknow, she was 
baptised by the Rev. Jani Alii while staying in the Palace of 
the King of Oude, at Matya Burj, in 1878, and I have always 
felt that her baptism was an earnest of blessing on the work of 
the Calcutta Muhammadan Mission which I began two years 
later. Maryam helped me much when, in 1888, she joined me 
as a Zenana teacher in Calcutta. We are planning that now 
as a matured Christian (the Matron of the Z.B.M.M. Converts' 
Home, Allahabad) she should visit Matya Burj as a mis- 
sioner." 

Truly the daughters of Islam will soon be won for Christ 
when they thus become their own evangelists ! 

Writing home from Calcutta in 1896, Miss Bardsley said : 
11 One very gentle Muhammadan lady, who often used to say 
to me, 1 1 love you and you love me,' was most anxious for us 
to begin work in Tally Gange, about six miles out of Calcutta. 
We were trying to open a little school, but it was very difficult, 
as we could only gather the children together once a week. 
One day this lady said to me, 'If the children come every 
day, I will teach them for you.' The next week she said, ' I 
have taught the children every day, but I could not teach 
them God's Word ; I have not got your Book.' 

" I gave her a Bible. She not only taught it to the children, 
but read it regularly herself with her own children. It was 
always placed carefully on a table. Not very long after this, I 
went away to the hills, and when I came back I found that 



220 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

my dear Begam had died quite suddenly. I feel sure that she 
had learnt to love Jesus Christ as her Saviour. She had only 
a few opportunities, but, I believe, had acted up to the light 
given to her." 

In about the space of six months from the opening ot 
Mission work in Tally Gange, over 300 women had been 
taught, and of these more than 250 had never before heard of 
Jesus. The Muhammadan village women are more secluded 
than their Hindu sisters, so that only one or two, and at the 
most six or eight at a time, can be reached by the missionary. 
But "I cannot tell you," says Miss Bardsley, "how grateful 
these women are to us for visiting them." 

A very real contest for the children has commenced in 
many a stronghold of Islam : and sometimes for a while the 
enemy triumphs. In a little school, one of ten hidden away 
in the nooks and corners of Amritsar, where children can most 
easily reach them, a short time ago, about thirty Afghan 
children might have been seen, dressed in the brightest silks, 
gauzes, and gold brocade, rejoicing in having "passed" their 
"Infant Standard" examination. A few days later where 
were they? All but one swept into a Muhammadan school 
opened for the very purpose of closing this one. And, mean- 
while, the opposition " Zenana Society " disclosed its motives 
for vigorous action thus : 

" This Society is imperatively needed in this city, Amritsar, 
where, in every hole and corner ^ la?ie and courts missionaries 
have their nets ready spread. It should be known that, 
thanks to the efforts of this Society, hitherto missionaries have 
been hampered and weakened in their work. This Society 
has established several girls' schools to supplant mission 
agencies. If our honourable and energetic Muhammadans 
do not look to it, we prophesy, with all the strength of which 
we are capable, that after this, Ahl-i-Islam in this city will 
never again have a ghost of a chance of escaping from the 



THE DAUGHTERS OF ISLAM 221 

missionary flood which has come on it and is sweeping over 
it." 

Yet the fight continues, and victory is sure, for " greater is 
He that is with us than he that is with them." One little 
incident, a mere " straw " in itself, will show in which direction 
the tide is setting. In one school for Moslem children a 
woman entered as a pupil, whom the Mullahs had sent as a 
spy to report what the children were being taught. When 
remonstrating one day with the Christian teacher about the 
Divinity of our Lord, her exclamations of aversion, "Tauba! 
Tauba ! " were interrupted by one of her class-mates, usually 
a very quiet child, who, turning round upon her, said, " Don't 
you know that the ' Ruh- Allah ' (the title given by Muham- 
madans to Christ, meaning the Spirit of God) must be greater 
than the ' Rasul- Allah ? ' (messenger of God, or Muhammad). 
How can you be so ignorant ? " The woman, dumbfoundered 
by the remark, could say nothing in reply, and soon after- 
wards disappeared from the school. 

And so in Calcutta and its suburbs, in Peshawar and its 
environs, and throughout India wherever God has enabled us 
to plant His banner, Muhammadan school work is going on 
in spite of all the enemy's wrath, and will, until hundreds of 
little 'Ayeshas,' and ' Mariyams ' and ' Fatimas ' are brought 
into the fold of Christ. Witness the little Moslems of Bardwan 
bringing their thankoffering of ten ' pice ' for being allowed 
to return to their beloved Mission School. Can girls be called 
Muhammadans who voluntarily unite in daily prayer for the 
persecuted Christians in China, entreating God for Christ's 
sake to turn the hearts of the persecutors ? 

Incident after incident might be given to prove that the 
stony rock of Islam is breaking under the hammer of God's 
Word. One of our missionaries tells of a woman who, on 
determining to follow Christ, was so cruelly beaten and im- 
prisoned that she will suffer all her life from its effects, but 



222 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

who is now a true witness for the Lord Jesus, and in charge 
of a hostel for hospital out-patients in the same bigoted 
Muhammadan city, where, years ago, she suffered persecution. 
Another, a Moslem lady of high family and great wealth, has 
lately left everything, including her only child, for Christ. 
Thoroughly acquainted with her own religion, and most strict 
in all its observances and ceremonies, she was won to God 
by the teaching of a Bible woman, herself a convert from 
Muhammadanism. 

In the Zenanas there are many instances of secret believers, 
and of those who are "almost persuaded." ''Among these," 
says Miss Tuting, of the Punjab Mission, " are three women 
in one house — wife, mother-in-law (a widow), and widowed 
aunt of the wife. They have great faith in Christian prayer, 
since the eyesight of one of them was restored after special 
prayer had been offered by our workers. Whatever trouble 
occurs in their family, they immediately desire us to pray 
about it, and have also asked to have a written prayer for 
light and salvation which they may use daily. A bigoted 
youth in the household erased the name of Christ with which 
it closed, and inserted ' Muhammad ' ; but the women say 
that they, nevertheless, always use it in the Name of Christ. 
As two of them cannot read yet, they have learnt the prayer 
by heart ! " 

Tokens of hopefulness, perhaps shown in ways only to be 
appreciated by those who witness them, stand out in bold 
relief against the dark wall of bigotry and superstition behind 
them. At Haripur, in the Hazara district — so thickly popu- 
lated, so sparsely evangelised — Miss Condon says that " no 
fewer than ten or twelve maulvis, &*., Muhammadan priests, 
are now reading the Bible, and one was so impressed that he 
came to ask if we would teach him." 

At Ootacamund there is a complete dying down of all 
opposition to Bible teaching among the Muhammadans; 



THE DAUGHTERS OF ISLAM 223 

while Miss Symonds of Ellore speaks of a dying Muhammadan 
who asked for prayer when visited by her. 

The awful wickedness of Muhammadan homes is, perhaps, 
realised only by the missionary worker among the daughters 
of Islam. " Some people will talk," says Miss Hewlett, of 
Amritsar, " of the beauty of the creed of Islam. I can only 
say that I have to shield the young workers under my care 
from knowing the wickedness of the Muhammadans amongst 
whom they are longing to go and work. The evils that 
abound remind us who are older that we dwell where Satan's 
seat is. It is the Muhammadan religion which maintains the 
pardah, and the pardah does not protect the women, but 
hides from the public outside the wickedness of the Mu- 
hammadan homes. We cannot tear it down. It must be 
done in the same way as all God's works are done — by 
unfailing faith and prayer, in dependence upon Him Who said, 
' Little by little I will drive them out before thee.' It is of 
no use to give Indian women liberty unless we give them the 
'liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free.'" 

Miss Phillips, of Peshawar, says : 

"The Kabuli women often pray that we may become 
Muhammadans. On one occasion, being in a particularly 
bigoted house, I was telling a woman that we were going to 
Haripur the next day because the people there wanted to hear 
about Christ, instead of shutting their ears like the Peshawaris. 
1 May God keep them from listening ! ' she exclaimed, and 
on our return she informed me that they had been praying 
to that effect. It is not an uncommon thing for the family 
Mullah to pray, or to read the Koran in an outside room 
luring the whole of one's visit, hoping thereby to avert all 
ivil consequences 1 " 

In a sketch of a tour among South Indian villages, one of 
our missionaries tells of her visits to the Muhammadan Ze- 
nana pupils. 



224 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



"On Monday morning I ride through the mud for three 
miles to a large village, where a Muhammadan kindly lends us 
a little one-roomed house in a cocoanut grove, that I may have 
a little refreshment in the midst of my work. The village is 
divided into ' this side ' and ■ that side ' of the river. Most ot 
my pupils on both sides are Tamil-speaking Muhammadans. 
They do know how to talk, and, having no fear, like the 
Hindus, of caste pollution, they crowd around me, wanting 
to know all about me and my relatives ! They are fasting ; 




A FAMILY CONVEYANCE ! 



therefore they say they cannot learn thoroughly. But they 
are very friendly, so we have plenty of talk about the Christian 
way of salvation. The last house of all is the most noisy. 
Boys throng in, and, if shut out, thump at the doors. Behind 
me a woman, a devotee, is telling her beads, and prostrating 
herself with groans on the ground again and again. Yet in 
the midst of all this confusion, lessons are said brightly and 
well." 

The Muhammadan ladies of South India are very strictly 
secluded, and are proud of it. They look upon it as a mark 



THE DAUGHTERS OF ISLAM 



225 



of respectful care, and are very contemptuous of women who 
are not taken care of in the same way. 

Miss E. L. Oxley, who has long worked among the daughters 
of Islam in Madras and its neighbourhood, contributes the 
following description of their characteristics : 

"The Moslem women and children are most interesting 
and pleasing. As a rule, in appearance they are of fair com- 
plexion, tall and graceful. They are all very anxious to be 
fair skinned and to have black hair and eyes. They take 
great pains to look 
well, and paint their 
eyes and eyebrows 
black, and even 
decorate their tiny 
babies in the same 
way. Their dress is 
extremely pictur- 
esque, a petticoat 
of rich coloured soft 
silk, striped horizon- 
tally, a short tight- 
fitting jacket with 
short sleeves, and, 
over all, the graceful 
sari or chaddar, with 

one end drawn prettily over the head. Numerous jewels are 
worn, according to the wealth of the owner : nose-rings — 
either the small closely-fitting jewel or the large ring of fine 
gold wire — rings and toe-rings, and a large number of gold or 
coloured glass bangles. 

"The lives of the Muhammadan ladies are often extremely 
dreary, and would be altogether intolerable to women brought 
up differently, and belonging to a more energetic race. South 
Indian Moslems are greatly wanting in energy and seem to 

Q 




WAITING SEEMS TO BE THEIR. NORMAL 
CONDITION." 



226 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

enjoy doing nothing in a way that is very surprising to English 
people. It is not unusual to find them quite willing to put off 
indefinitely, to a future time, something in which they appear to 
be really interested, and which we, in their place, should wish 
to continue and finish at once. Any little obstacle is sufficient 
to interrupt their small occupations, and they placidly sit down 
to wait. Waiting seems to be their normal condition, 

"The poor Muhammadans live in very small and dreary 
houses — if such they can be called. Whole streets are 
occupied by them, and they consist generally of a small 
enclosure surrounded by mud walls. A wooden door in the 
wall covered by a hanging pardah, — a curtain of coarse sack- 
ing, — gives admittance to the courtyard, at one side of which 
is the dwelling-place proper, a slightly raised platform of mud 
covered with a thatched or tiled roof, and again a screened 
entrance, so that the women may be ' gasha,' i.e., in pardah. 
A few mats, earthen pots, and a low bed form the furniture. 
The smallest of the children are generally to be found lying in 
an old sheet tied up in a most ingenious way and suspended 
from the rafters — a very satisfactory cradle, as it can be easily 
kept in motion by an occasional push. 

"Amongst the poor — and the majority of the Moslem popu- 
lation is composed of these — there are very many of good, or 
even high birth, who are now reduced to great but, generally, 
uncomplaining poverty. As time goes on, the pensions which 
the English Government undertook to pay the Muhammadan 
princes in years gone by, when the land passed out of their 
hands, have been so divided and subdivided among the 
families that they have now become merely nominal, and the 
recipients of the present day suffer accordingly. Uneducated 
as they mostly are, they look upon the loss of money as 
injustice, and, as a rule, are too proud and unwilling to work. 
Yet there are many exceptions. The Government offers great 
inducements by scholarships, etc., to young Muhammadans, 



THE DAUGHTERS OF ISLAM 



227 



and, during the last few years, the schools and colleges have 
been filled with students ; while numbers of ladies of gentle 
birth are evincing a desire for employment in their own 
homes, and are occupied with silk embroidery, in the sale of 
which they receive nearly all the profit. Many are exceedingly 
grateful for an employment which can be taken up privately, 
in concession to their rank. 

"It is a remarkable step forward that, of late years, Muham- 
madan parents in Madras have been willing to send their 
daughters to school. Twenty years ago such a thing was 
almost, if not entirely, unknown. Education of the most 
meagre kind at home from ignorant teachers was all that was 
desired. Now, very 
many little girls at- 
tend Mission schools 
daily, and make 
wonderful progress in 
their studies ; nearly 
all the poorer ones 
hoping to qualify, in 
time, as teachers. It 
naturally follows 
that, as they become educated, they grow dissatisfied with 
their unhealthy homes and dull lives, and try to make 
them brighter and better. It is a pitiful thing to see the 
efforts of the children in their own homes to hide the dis- 
comfort and want of cleanliness from the eyes of visitors, and 
their sad and ashamed faces when their older and more 
ignorant relatives say and do things which they know to be 
vulgar and barbarous. They take their school books home 
with them, and spend much time in studying them. Much less 
opposition than formerly is now made to the Bible lessons, 
but still it is often serious and bitter. The parents appear to 
ignore the fact that the Bible is taught systematically in the 




THE BULLOCK CART WHICH BRINGS THE 
'GASHA' GIRLS TO SCHOOL. 



228 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

schools ; yet whenever a special case comes before them of 
their children being in danger of " perversion " to Christianity 
they are angry, and will sometimes remove them. But as 
time goes on, and these children become in turn the heads of 
homes, we cannot but believe that great changes will be found 
to take place, and certainly less opposition will be raised." 

Perhaps the most eloquent testimony to the worth and 
reality of Mission school work was unintentionally given by a 
Muhammadan in a vigorously written tract as long ago as 1885. 
In a veritable trumpet-call to Moslem parents which com- 
mences: " Believers ! save your children and descendants from 
hell-fire ! " he says : " What do we see ? Wherever we go 
we find Mission schools filled with Muhammadan children ! 
There is scarcely a lane, a street, a house, where the effect 
of these schools is not seen. Where is the girl who has 
had the good luck to escape the teaching of the New 
Testament ? Is there a child in the Mission schools who is 
not thoroughly grounded in the Christian faith, and at the same 
time taught to believe that her own religion is vain ? . . . 
The missionaries, who pour like a flood into this country, are 
striking deadly blows at the root of our faith. Have you no 
pity on your children ? Countrymen, shall we not try to save 
our children from a disease which, in a few years, will be incur- 
able? If we let missionaries work unmolested, if we allow 
English women to undermine our faith, in a few years (if in- 
deed one Musalman remain in India) our knees will be feeble 
indeed, our heart faint, our religion gone ! " 

To a stranger from the north of India, the Pettah, or native 
town of Bangalore, with its fort and streets overshadowed by 
the graceful cocoanut palms, has a peculiar interest ; for here 
the high-caste Hindu women freely walk about, unveiled, and 
with nothing on their heads save an ornamental pin run 
through their glossy black hair. But let us glance at their 
closely secluded Moslem sisters, amongst whom are many 



THE DAUGHTERS OF ISLAM 229 

hungering souls. " There is no comfort found in our religion," 
said one, not long ago. " Our book tells us to fast, pray, give 
alms, that we may obtain salvation. When we do all this, it 
is still put down as sin." 

Nevertheless, for some months, attempts at Zenana work 
in Bangalore failed over and over again, so strong was the 
counter-influence exerted by the bigoted heads of houses. At 
last a worker could report : " New houses are opening every 
day, and a real hungering for the Bread of Life has arisen." 

In 1888, Miss Thorn wrote, "The more one knows of 
Mission work the greater seem the disadvantages at which 
foreigners must ever remain in carrying the Gospel to those 
whose modes of thought, habits and speech must be, at best, 
only imperfectly acquired. Therefore, from the first, our 
prayer was that God would send us some native Christian 
helpers, filled with His Spirit ! 

" The only Muhammadan convert to Christianity, I believe, 
in this part of South India, is the widow of a Pathan, a 
1 havilda,' and formerly a man of good means. This widow 
was brought to Christ through Miss Reade, of Panrdti. Since 
her baptism, nine years ago, she has been a brave witness, 
through much suffering, for her Saviour. In order to get an 
entrance amongst her own people, who had utterly cast her 
out, she has taken her diploma as trained nurse in the Madras 
Hospital. There she was at once offered remunerative 
employment with merely the proviso that she must not 
proselytise. But, her heart was loyal to her Saviour ; she 
declined Government work and returned to her village. 
About six or eight months ago, Qadir Bi got possession, for the 
first time since her own baptism, of her youngest child, who 
had been hitherto with her Muhammadan relatives. It was, 
however, necessary that Qadir Bi should leave her own part of 
the country if she were to keep the child with her. She had, 
besides, a little grandchild and an adopted girl of seven or 



230 



BEHIND THE PARDAH 



eight years old. Work in our Mission at Bangalore exactly 
met her case. 

" Many who knew the hatred felt by the Muhammadans to 
an apostate from their faith, feared serious opposition in the 
houses. Instead of this, God has given her great favour. Her 
rare qualities of firmness and gentleness, united to a strong 
faith, open her way amongst her former co-religionists in 
Bangalore. Her powers as ' hakim,' or native doctor, prove 
an ( Ope?i i sesame ! ' to houses otherwise barred against her, and 

these powers once 
tested, together with 
her winning ways, 
rapidly make friends, 
whom her Christian 
faithfulness seldom 
loses. 

"Qadir Bi's little 
house in our com- 
pound is often a 
pleasant sight to see, 
filled with sixteen to 
twenty Muhamma- 
dan women guests, 
listening with deep 
interest to the Scrip- 
ture lesson given by their hostess. After the Bible lesson 
comes an entertainment of coffee, bread and fruits, served in 
the house of the ' Babu Mem,' as Qadir Bi is respectfully 
called. These provisions they will take if prepared by her, 
but are too suspicious of the presence of pork or bacon in 
our kitchen to take anything directly from us. So strong an 
influence has Qadir Bi gained over some of these women, that 
we cannot but hope that the Lord is drawing them to Himself." 
When, after eighteen months, Qadir Bi was recalled to 




THE DAUGHTERS OF ISLAM 231 

Panriiti, and her ministry in Bangalore came to an end, many 
a Muhammadan house mourned the loss of a warm friend, 
and more than one soul thanked God for the message of 
salvation first heard from her lips. 

Muhammadan work at Bangalore has passed through sore 
vicissitudes. Although one worker after another was raised 
up to carry it on, out of five from England only one remained 
at the end of four years. To Miss Anna Smith, who has now 
laboured for ten years in the Moslem Zenanas of Bangalore, 
the loss by removal, ill-health, or death of so many fellow- 
workers from home has emphasised a purpose, always near 
her heart, of drawing into the work as many young Christians 
as possible — Europeans and Eurasians — born and brought up 
in India — for such obviously have special advantages for 
Mission work. A Training Home for these young mission- 
aries at Bangalore would mean a centre of influence and 
blessing such as can be scarcely overrated. No wonder that 
its inauguration is the subject of prayerful consideration. 

The Word of God has free course now in the Moslem 
houses of Bangalore, and, thank God, about twelve workers, 
including those who have joined on the spot, are sowing the 
good seed of the Kingdom, where a few years since there was 
not one. Bangalore, however, is but a starting-point for the 
numerous Muhammadan towns and villages of the region 
beyond. Mysore city, the capital of the state, has been en- 
tered, and a girls' school established. 

" We never heard this before ; we must tell others about it ! " 
cried the women in a Zenana one day, as Miss Anna Smith 
read of the death of Christ. " Do come soon again. These 
words about God," they continued, almost in David's words, 
"are better than food to us — better than 'pilau,' etc.," naming 
other favourite dishes. Alas ! how can so few amongst so 
many, " come soon again " to any one house, or repeat the story 
often to these eager listeners ? 



232 BEHIND THE PARDAH 

One daughter of Islam asked her missionary friend why she 
went from house to house in the burning sun, reading the 
' Injil ' (Gospel) to every one. Her visitor turned to St. Matthew 
xxviii. 19, 20, and told her that it was our Master's command. 
She said, "This, then, is your Prophet's command. Why do 
not all your caste obey it ? Out of so many Christians, only 
you come here once a week to read to us. Oh ! they will receive 
a very great punishment ! How is it ? H 

And as we turn our eyes from the daughters of Islam to the 
daughters of Christ, we echo that question, " How is it ? " 

9r w "hF 4r <V 

Thus we have glanced at the Indian woman of town and 
village, hill and plain. Whether as Hindu or Moslem, child 
or girl, wife or widow, we have witnessed her unutterable need 
and woe. Has the passing glimpse moved our souls to a pity 
that can no longer be passive ? 

True, a few among the millions of India's women are happy 
— in the sense in which animals may be happy. Life brings 
less sorrow and pain to some than to others, even in the land 
of the pardah. But the woman of India has no abiding joy. 
She knows no healing water that can satisfy the craving of 
the soul. She has heard of the foetid well of Manikarnika at 
Benares, with its "sweat of Vishnu," and its supposed power to 
cleanse from sin. But she yearns, not for a fresh incarnation 
of Vishnu, but for the true, tender story of the incarnation of 
the Redeeming Son of God. 

And who shall tell her ? 

Though it should cost time, strength, wealth, will not YOU ? 
Although it means that you must go yourself, or send some 
living, loving treasure still more dear, will not YOU ? 

For your Indian sister behind a fourfold pardah of ignorance, 
sin, suffering, and despair is waiting for the fourfold message 
of Light, Life, Love, and Liberty from YOUR lips. 

Shall she wait in vain ? 



The Story of 

C.E.Z.M.S. Work in India 

OUR STATIONS AND STAFF FROM 1880 TO 1897 

THE following brief chronological record of our past his- 
tory in India may be interesting to those who have read 
Behind the Pardah. Necessarily, within the very limited 
space at our disposal, it must be the merest outline of labours 
in which hundreds of C.E.Z.M.S. missionaries have engaged 
during seventeen eventful years. For the same reason also, 
it is impossible to mention each by name. A list of our 
workers now on the field will be found in the little handbook 
(revised annually), Purpose, Principles, Progress, issued 
gratis to friends of the Society. 

Readers of India's Women and China's Daughters, the 
interesting and illustrated monthly organ of C.E.Z.M.S., are, 
moreover, kept so well informed, that our aim is, rather, to 
sketch the growth and expansion than to tell again the already 
well-told story of every particular station. 

It has been impossible in this small volume to record the 
labours of C.E.Z.M.S. in any other field than India. 1 Yet an 

1 The story of C.E.Z.M.S. work in CHINA has been already told in 
Behind the Great Wall. The work which, from iSSS to 1891, we 
were carrying on in JAPAN was, in the latter year, transferred to the 
C.M.S. 

2 33 



2 34 APPENDIX 

equally important and noble work, though less extensive, has 
been and is being carried on by our devoted missionaries in 
Ceylon. In 1889, for the first time, Kandy was reckoned 
among our stations. A Girls' Boarding School for high-class 
Buddhist children was opened by Miss Bellerby and Miss 
James, and a prospectus of the school bore the names of 
three Kandyan chiefs. To the Rev. J. and Mrs. Ireland Jones, 
C.M.S., this fresh venture was entirely due, and the institution 
was called the Clarence Memorial School in memory of their 
little son, early taken home to God. No more interesting sight 
can be found than these bright-faced, intelligent Buddhist 
children at school, " living like Christians and calling them- 
selves Jesus' little lambs." In 1892 Miss Maiden and Miss 
Scovell were welcomed by Miss Denyer (Hon. C.M.S.), the 
first lady to begin village work. During that year three of the 
oldest pupils in the school were confirmed. In 1893 Miss 
Scovell wrote of the " thousands of hill villages around 
Kandy where there are only three workers of any Christian 
Society," and pleaded for pioneer missionaries. 

In 1894, two Kandyan day schools had joined the Scrip- 
ture Union, a Sunday school was flourishing, and a class for 
Buddhist women was " held twice a week at the women's special 
request." A Bible-woman was now an earnest and valued 
helper. Early in 1895, Miss Scovell welcomed Miss Karney 
as her long-hoped-for colleague. A house was secured for 
them at Gampola, a convenient centre for village work in the 
very populous district south of Kandy, about thirty-six miles 
long by thirty-four broad, which was assigned to our Society 
as its sphere of work. The Clarence Memorial School had 
so increased in numbers that enlargement was necessary in 
order to provide room for thirty girls. In 1896 Miss A. Naish 
joined Miss Bellerby in school work, and in visiting some of 
the Kandyan ladies, who were beginning to wish to be taught 
to read. A small house was built near Kotmalee, as another 



THE STORY OF C.E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 235 

village centre in addition to Gampola, where a Dispensary is 
now opened twice a week for the benefit of the neglected sick 
in seventy-two villages around. 

Of the Origin and Organisation of C.E.Z.M.S. we have 
already spoken. See Introductory. Our sketch of its Stations 
and Staff, therefore, begins from the year 1880. 

From the Normal School, Calcutta, established twenty-eight 
years previously, eighty-four trained teachers and assistant 
missionaries had already gone forth, and the report of the 
Principal, Miss Condon, was again full of encouragement; 
while, in the city itself, Miss Mary Highton and her sister were 
teaching in several schools and visiting one hundred Zenanas. 
At Barrackpore, Miss Good, after seven years' successful work, 
had just established her Converts' Industrial Home. In 
Krishnagar, always a promising field, nearly five hundred 
children were attending C.E.Z. Schools. The Zenana visits 
paid by Miss Raikes at Chinsura, Miss Branch at Jabalpur, 
and Miss Hoernle at Mirat were growing in interest. At 
Amritsar, the Alexandra School, C.M.S., superintended for 
eight years by Miss Henderson, C.E.Z.M.S., was earning high 
encomiums from both the Bishop of Lahore and the Rev. 
Robert Clark— always the warm friend of our work. Miss 
Hewlett was receiving, already, the gratitude of those who had 
benefited by her skilful and prayerful care in the Hospital. 
From Batala, Miss Tucker (A.L.O.E.) was writing deeply 
interesting narratives of God's work in her hands. Miss Clay, 
the greatest pioneer of Village Missions, at work as an honorary 
missionary since 1876, was joined at Jandiala by a native 
Christian lady, Miss Ellen Lakshmi Goreh ; while Mrs. Scott, 
our honorary missionary at Peshawar, was being welcomed by 
the Afghan nobility and their secluded wives. An invitation 
from C.M.S. missionaries at Karachi was accepted by two 
sisters, the Misses Thorn. 

In South India the Misses Oxley were labouring in Madras, 



236 APPENDIX 

one among Hindus, the other among Muhammadans. In 
Miss E. L. Oxley's two schools there were 118 Moslem 
children. The great advantage which native ladies as mis- 
sionaries have over their European sisters was being demon- 
strated by the vigorous work carried on by Mrs. Satthianadhan, 1 
her daughters and niece, at the Napier Park Hindu Girls' 
Schools and in the Madras Zenanas. Miss Brandon, at 
Masulipatam, was joyfully witnessing and responding to the 
anxiety of Moslem parents that their girls should be taught. 
At Palamcottah, our veteran missionary, Mrs. Lewis, was 
reaching hundreds of women for the first time, while fifteen 
Bible-women were carrying the Gospel message to the sur- 
rounding towns and villages. Miss Gehrich was ably super- 
intending the Sarah Tucker Training Institution, C.M.S., just 
opened. In Trevandrum, Miss Blandford, who had faithfully 
worked for nearly twenty years, was visiting one hundred 
Zenanas and teaching one hundred girls in the Fort School, 
among whom were daughters of the Prime Minister of 
Travancore. In the royal palace itself, the Maharaja's wife 
and the princesses were enrolled as pupils, and were being 
influenced for Christ. 

The first Annual Report might well commence with thanks- 
giving and conclude with the confident assertion, " We stand 
on the margin of grand operations of Divine grace." 

In 1881 several important stations were taken up. From 
Calcutta the interesting news came that a conference of sixty 
native Christian teachers had been held, and that, in spite of 
violent opposition, a widow had been baptised in the Bengali 
church, and had proved her sincerity by selling some of her 
property so that she might support herself apart from the 
Mission. In spite of the well-known bigotry of the Muham- 
madans, Miss S. Mulvany had begun her successful labours 

1 Hon. Lady Superintendent, wife of the Rev, W, T. Satthianadhan, 
CM.S, 



THE STORY OF C.E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 237 

among the Moslem women in the city. Five pupils had 
passed out of the Normal School as trained teachers during 
the year, and were witnessing for Christ in their new spheres of 
work. Miss Good, now assisted by the Hon. E. Sugden and 
Miss Pantin, and a small staff of assistants and teachers, was 
dividing her time between Schools and Zenanas, while still 
superintending the Converts' Home, where four baptisms had 
taken place. In spite of violent opposition from some of the 
Babus, and a terrible epidemic of fever, Miss Collisson could 
still speak of steady growth in the schools at Krishnagar. 
The large city of Agra, with hundreds of surrounding villages, 
had become the centre of itinerating effort by the Misses 
Daeuble, who accompanied their father, the Rev. C. M. 
Daeuble, C.M.S., from place to place ; while Bhagalpur was 
opened as a Zenana station by Miss Haitz. At Jabalpur and 
Mirat work was prospering. 

So rapidly was the village-to-village Mission extending in 
the Punjab that Miss Clay, during the cold season, visited 
176 villages — some twice and even three times— besides 
numerous towns ; while A.L.O.E. was sending home thrilling 
descriptions of her itinerating journeys around Batala. During 
the fearful epidemic of cholera in the previous autumn at 
Amritsar, Miss Smith and Miss Hewlett heroically succoured 
the suffering Hindus, Moslems, and Christians, and had the 
joy of seeing eight baptisms. Work was commenced this year 
at Jalandar by Miss Thorn and her sister. 

The Madras schools were flourishing, forty-three out of 
forty-six pupils had passed the Government examination, and 
the girls were receiving a practical Scriptural and spiritual 
training under Mrs. Satthianadhan's wise care. While the 
Misses Oxley were closely following up Zenana visiting among 
Hindus and Moslems in Madras, the Misses Brandon at 
Masulipatam were as successful. Work among women and 
girls was opening out in all directions in South India. Mrs. 



238 APPENDIX 

Kearns, an excellent Tamil scholar and missionary of twenty 
years' experience, was enrolled upon our staff, and began 
Zenana work in Sachieapuram, North Tinnevelly ; while, in 
response to a request from Dr. Speechly, then Bishop of 
Travancore, Miss Coleman, a medical missionary, and her 
sister were sent to Trichur on the confines of Cochin. 

The year 1882 opened with fifty-two missionaries upon our 
staff. The group of stations in Calcutta and neighbourhood 
were revisited by the late Mrs. Broadbent, formerly Lady 
Superintendent of the Normal School in Calcutta, who found 
abundant cause for encouragement in the way in which the 
work was by this time expanding. Even the Muhammadan 
work was not without fruit. Miss S. Mulvany could report 
" the great joy of hearing the confession of faith of a very dear 
pupil." The baptism of a Brahman lady and her children at 
Barrackpore excited great interest, and deeply impressed even 
a high-caste Hindu priest who was present, and who remarked, 
11 1 wish that many Hindus had been present to see what I 
have seen to-day." An earnest appeal for reinforcements at 
Krishnagar, where the work was becoming more urgent and 
important, and a promising field for training native women 
teachers, taken from its Christian community of 6,000 souls, 
was presenting itself. For the first time the question of 
employment for widows attracted the attention of Govern- 
ment, and the idea of a Widows' Training Class at Kapash- 
danga was considered by our Committee. On her return to 
India, Miss Editha Mulvany took up work at Bardwan, whilst 
Miss Fanny Butler, who had been studying the language at 
Jabalpur, commenced medical work at Bhagulpur, and the 
Misses Daeuble were transferred from Agra to Jabalpur. 
News of the work at Amritsar and Batala called loudly for re- 
inforcements. A second centre of village work in the Punjab 
was formed at Ajnala. Sixteen workers were assisting Miss 
Clay by this time, and 260 villages were visited. Miss Nor- 



THE STORY OF CE.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 239 

man, our first missionary sent direct to Peshawar, arrived to 
take up the work begun at this important frontier station. 

While the work in Madras was growing in depth and 
interest, the caste Hindu and Moslem girls' schools at Ellore 
came into our hands, and a feature of great interest both here 
and at Masulipatam was the arrival of three ladies from 
Australia to assist in Zenana work. The expenses of outfit 
and voyage were met by friends in the colony, and in a very 
touching letter, Mr. Macartney, son of the Dean of Melbourne, 
expressed the hope that they might be able also to remit 
^200 a year towards their maintenance. From North 
Tinnevelly, Palamcottah, Trichur, and Trevandrum, cheering 
accounts were received, and this at a most critical period in 
the history of Zenana work. Whilst on the one hand the 
President of the Government Education Commission was 
declaring, " We have received much evidence tending to show 
that Zenana Missions are at present the only effective agency for 
the education of women in India " j on the other hand the 
" Indian Association " had entered the field with us, and was 
beginning to send non-religious teachers into the Zenanas of 
South India. It was therefore a matter of necessity for us to 
pre-occupy the ground as far as possible in the name of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. And with peculiar thankfulness the 
CE.Z.M.S. found, at the close of its third year of organisation, 
that its staff had exactly doubled ! 

During 1883, a glad tale of fresh blessing and fresh oppor- 
tunity came from every one of the thirty-one stations in the 
foreign field. Miss Hunt was now in charge of the great 
Central Institution — the Normal School, Calcutta — a training 
ground for future workers, and the Central School with 118 
Bengali girls was becoming in itself an important missionary 
agency. The Misses Highton, by their village school work 
around the city, were scattering the good Seed far and wide ; 
whilst Parsi as well as Moslem Zenanas were welcoming Miss 



240 



APPENDIX 



S. Mulvany. A third Central Institution was this year opened 
at Barrackpore by the formation of a Training Class for 
Widows who should become missionaries. At Krishnagar, 
Miss Dawe, who had now joined Miss Collisson, was asked 
by Rev. A. Clifford, C.M.S., to superintend Zenana work at 
Santipur amongst a population of 30,000. At Bardwan, a 
high-class school for the daughters of Bengali gentlemen 
officially connected with Government was opened ; and Miss 
E. Mulvany was cheered by a visit from the Lieut-Governor 
of Bengal, who afterwards sent her a donation of Rs. 100. 
Our Missions at Bhagulpur, Jabalpur, and Mirat were also 
full of encouragement. At Amritsar, Miss Wauton, though 
her hands were already full with Zenana and school work, 
this year established a Converts' Home on the same lines as 
that at Barrackpore, and a Hindu Widows' Industrial Class. 
The Alexandra School, under Miss Swainson's care, was re- 
ported as "never more hopeful than now"; whilst St. 
Catherine's Hospital was spoken of by the Lieut.-Governor 
as the most remarkable of all the institutions he had seen in 
Amritsar. Miss M. Hcernle and Miss Krapf had now joined 
Miss Tucker in the new Mission-house " Sonnenschein " at 
Batala, and were opening up school work also at Fathgarh. 
At Ajnala, also through the special generosity of friends, a 
Mission-house for our busy workers had been erected ; whilst 
a site for a small bungalow had been selected at Narowal and 
a new out-station opened at Taran Taran. A little School 
for the Blind was begun at Jalandar, Dr. Moon, of Brighton, 
generously supplying books in Urdu, Hindi, and Panjabi. 
Medical work was beginning at Peshawar, and at Karachi 
Mrs. Ball had been offered a house free of rent, by a well- 
known Hindu gentleman, for a second Sindi school. 

Meanwhile, in South India, rarely a month passed without 
admission being gained for the first time into one or more 
Zenanas in Madras, and at Masulipatam there was joy over 



THE STORY OF C.E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 241 

the baptism of a young woman, " a widow since she was six." 
Mrs. Ellington was now happily established as House Mother 
to our young workers among the children at Ellore. A deep 
shadow was thrown over Tinnevelly this year by the sudden 
home-call of the saintly Mrs. Lewis, our veteran missionary : 
She had opened the Home of Rest, and had seen the com- 
mencement of Miss Ling's High School. Twenty-two Bible- 
women whom she had trained mourned her loss. 

The Misses Coleman were rejoicing over the first fruits of 
our Trichur Mission, "three precious souls baptised into 
Christ's Church below," and a Dispensary was being built 
close to the Mission bungalow. New work at Ootacamund 
was opened out by Mrs. S. Satthianadhan, who had studied 
medicine at Madras University. During this year the British 
and Foreign Bible Society gave a grant to the C.E.Z.M.S. for 
the support of Bible-women in our Missions. 

1884 was distinctly a year of progress. The number in the 
Training Class of the Normal School, Calcutta, doubled ; the 
Fergusson Memorial Library was founded for the use of the 
pupils, and Zenana work, both among Hindus and Muham- 
madans, though beset with difficulties, was prospering. From 
the Barrackpore Home some of the converts had now returned 
to their own villages, and were carrying on real missionary 
work. Whilst Miss Dawe was single handed this year at 
Krishnagar, Miss Sugden had been transferred from Agurparah 
to Kapashdanga in order to open the Nuddea Village Mission, 
and the Widows' Training Class came into being under 
Mrs. Parsons at Chapra. Another school in the Bardwan 
Mission was opened at Royan, where a Babu gave a building 
for a schoolhouse rent free for three years. Miss Butler's 
dispensary at Bhagulpur was reaching 1,500 patients a quarter ; 
work among Mahratta ladies had begun at Jabalpur, and four 
schools at Mirat were prospering. At Amritsar, the interest of 
a fund raised in memory of the late Mrs. F. H. Baring was 

R 



242 APPENDIX 

set apart for rewarding proficiency in Scripture among women 
and girls in the Punjab. All our institutions in and around 
Amritsar were recording marked answers to prayer and suc- 
cessful effort. Taran Taran Dispensary was solemnly dedicated 
by the Bishop of Lahore. Miss Tucker reported a new branch 
of work among the much-despised Mihtars, or sweepers. The 
Punjab Village Mission during this year, owing to Miss Clay's 
illness, was under the charge of Miss Catchpool, and a Mission 
party of seven missionaries and seventeen native helpers was 
at work among 500 out of the 1,500 villages in the four 
1 tehsils.' Over Jalandar and Peshawar heavy shadows fell ; 
work at the former place was relinquished l owing to the 
return to England of the Misses Thom in ill-health ; and our 
promising young missionary at Peshawar, Miss Norman, was 
called to her rest. Yet the work on this frontier under Miss 
Phillips and Miss Mitcheson was " ever increasing." 

From Miss Oxley news came of the baptism of one of our 
school teachers, and also of the wife and child of a Rajput con- 
vert. The Governor of Madras and Mrs. Grant Duff this year 
entertained the ladies of the Zenana Missions, their pupils and 
friends, at the largest gathering of the kind ever held in India. 

Work at Masulipatam, Ellore, Tinnevelly and Trevandrum 
received many tokens of God's presence and approval ; while 
at Trichur, in answer to the special petition " that the Lord 
would bring in the heathen by families," four heathen fainilies 
were brought under instruction. 

If 1884 had been marked as an era of progress, 1885 was 
still more signalised by ' tokens for good.' The area of work 
in its threefold sphere — educational, evangelistic, and medical 
— had now become so extensive that, without attempting to 
refer to each station, we can only briefly name a few special 

1 The American Presbyterian Synod of Ludhiana (who cordially invited 
us to continue our Mission at jalandar), had lon^ been virtually in posses- 
sion of the field, 



THE STORY OF C.E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 243 

points of interest connected with this one short year. A note- 
worthy event was the baptism at Barrackpore, after ten years' 
instruction, of a woman of good caste, who, in spite of all opposi- 
tion, was able to return after the service to her own home and 
resume her place in the household — a most unusual circum- 
stance. The increasing power of the Word of God was shown 
by " a wave of blessing " passing over Trichur, when many 
nominal Christiansand Heathen — Nairs, Chogans, and Pulayens 
— were emboldened to confess Christ in baptism, even though 
it cost them their all. A like movement at Fathgarh resulted in 
more than 100 baptisms among the Sweeper class. Of this 
Miss Tucker wrote : " It has generally been one sheaf at a 
time ; never till this week have we been blessed with such a 
wain-load." Caste prejudice was breaking down. In one case 
a Hindu father's name was registered as a witness of his adult 
daughter's baptism, while Hindu school girls looked on from 
behind a pardah. The newly-formed Widows' Class at 
Chapra was taken out for ten days' itinerating experience in 
actual evangelistic work ; as many as 200 women would 
assemble as eager listeners, and it was found, to quote the 
words of our Calcutta Committee at the time, that "it is 
possible for us to do easily now, what twenty years ago seemed 
an almost hopelessly difficult task." Despite the difficulties of 
Muhammadan work, Miss S. Mulvany had 105 Zenana pupils 
under instruction, and a school opened at Matya Burj was 
steadily growing in numbers and influence. To the Nuddea 
Village Mission, Miss Valpy, herself a missionary's daughter, 
went this year to join Miss Sugden, who, with Miss Gore, had 
been "out in camp " with one very happy result. The wife of a 
fakir, a somewhat remarkable man, since he possessed skill in 
medicine and poetry, was influenced for Christ, so that at 
length she and her husband, their son and his wife, were 
baptised, and the father's poetic talent was now exercised in 
composing Christian hymns, The conversion of this family 



244 APPENDIX 

was a potent illustration of the value of women evangelists. 
Although the Arya Samaj, on the one hand, were doing their 
utmost to oppose Christian teaching at Amritsar, and enticing 
many children away from the Mission school, and, on the 
other, a league of influential Muhammadans was formed to 
shut our missionaries out of the Zenanas in that place, there 
was no retreat, but, according to the Moslems themselves, the 
very streets and lanes of the city were echoing " hymns in 
praise of Christ," sung by the children. Jalandar was again 
occupied by two of our staff; Miss Rose Johnson's work at 
Dera Ismail Khan was taken over by our Committee ; a lady 
missionary had gone to Sind, and Bible-women were appointed 
to C.M.S. stations at Kangra, Klarkabad, and Dera Ghazi 
Khan. In the autumn, a trained nurse in the person of Miss 
Graham, from Edinburgh, was sent to assist Mrs. Cain 
(C.M.S.) in medical work at Dummagudem. School and 
other work had also opened out at Poonamalee, Jaggipett, 
Bezwada, Amalapur, and Rajamundry. 

The year next under review, 1886, was the Sabbatical year 
of the Society. In the seven years since the C.E.Z.M.S. was 
established the number of our staff had grown from thirty to 
ninety, and the number of our stations had increased from 
thirteen to forty-one. Briefly surveying the work of the year, 
we find that, in Calcutta, the desire of non-Christian parents that 
their children should receive Christian teaching was growing 
remarkably. A B rah mo Samaj father, in sending his daughter 
to the Central School, enjoined Miss Hunt, " Your religion is 
very good ; teach my little girl all you can of it." After eleven 
years' devoted service in the Bengali work, Miss Highton was 
removed from our staff, although as Mrs. Lowis her influence 
and sympathies continued with C.E.Z.M.S. Her sister, Miss 
E. Highton, could speak of many "secret disciples," but 
pointed out what a terrible hindrance to our work is the system 
of child-marriage, under which a girl, it may be of only eleven 



THE STORY OF C.E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 245 

years, whose heart has been touched by the Message, is, by no 
will of her own, allied to an unbeliever or a Brahmo. Two 
baptisms of Moslems were reported as firstfruits of the 
Muhammadan Mission. The convert Shoshi's husband was 
baptised at Barrackpore— won by his wife's prayers and con- 
sistent life; and Miss Dawe, at Krishnagar, told of two 
Muhammadan women patiently bearing persecution for 
Christ's sake. Bible Classes and Mothers' Meetings among 
the native Christians of the Nuddea Village Mission had been 
organised by Miss Sugden and Miss Valpy. School work 
among the Jains * at Bhagulpur was a new feature of the work 
at this important station ; while many new doors were opening 
at Jabalpur and Mirat. At Amritsar, a belt of villages lying 
within a six miles' radius of the city had been evangelised by 
our workers, in addition to their labours in the six departments 
of the Mission. 

The Alexandra School, now under Miss Bowies' superin- 
tendence and fostering care, was prospering greatly; and 
during the year a chapel had been opened in connection with 
St. Catherine's Hospital. From Ajnala, news came from Miss 
Hanbury that the Mihtars, on all sides, were asking for bap- 
tism ; and at the Central Station itself Miss Clay was enabled 
to build, independently of the Society's funds, a dispensary, 
parsonage, and servants' houses. One of these buildings soon 
became the nucleus of a Converts' Home. Eight flourishing 
schools were now established in Jalandar and its neighbour- 
hood, and the twofold work — Zenana and Medical — at Pesha- 
war was strengthened by the opening of a hospital containing 
six beds, dedicated by the Rev. Worthington Jukes. Many 
new families, cast out of Cabul, had fled to Peshawar, and 
several had requested teaching. The work at Karachi was 
personally inspected by General Haig, then Chairman of 
C.E.Z.M.S. Committee, who was particularly struck with the 
1 A Vegetarian sect of the Buddhists. 



246 APPENDIX 

hearty welcome Miss Carey was receiving on her visits to the 
women, and the spirit of prayerfulness and unity pervading 
the Mission. Twenty Muhammadan Zenanas also had opened 
to Miss Bloomer at Haiderabad. 

Of the schools at Madras, Mr. Goldsmith, who examined the 
children in Scripture, said : " If our friends at home could 
inspect such bright scholars, I feel sure that their hearts would 
be filled with hope for the next generation of India's women." 
Our new work in Mysore, among its 100,000 Moslem women 
(which owed its origin to Miss Edith Goldsmith), was full of 
promise. Miss Wallinger and Miss Synge joined the Oota- 
camund Mission this year, and a Bible-woman commenced 
working in Coonoor, about thirteen miles off. Real blessing 
was being vouchsafed, although the special difficulties of the 
work at this station were great and threefold — the frequent rains, 
the migratory population, and the curse of drink, " prevalent 
among all classes." The Misses Brandon, at Masulipatam, 
now joined by Miss Bassoe and Miss Ainslie, were under- 
taking the care of the work at Jaggipett, ninety miles away — 
so widespread as well as onerous had the oversight of this 
important station become. At Dummagudem, one little child, 
taught in the Girls' School, had won both her parents to 
Christ, and all three were baptised together. Miss Macdonald 
had the joy of reporting many baptisms at Palamcottah, yet 
she wrote : " Often I feel overwhelmed when I think what a 
wee speck we occupy. Think of a town, population 11,580, 
with twenty women learning from one Bible-woman, and our 
visit once in three months only ! " At the Sarah Tucker 
Institution 300 pupils this year joined the Daily Prayer 
Union for the Holy Spirit. Our Canadian friends were send- 
ing special help to Mrs. Kearns, at her lonely but interesting 
post in North Tinnevelly ; at Trevandrum, Miss Blandford 
was carrying on her work in three different languages ; and at 
Cottayam, Mrs. Neve, C.M.S., kindly superintending our work, 



THE STORY OF C.E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 247 

characterised it as "very hopeful," in spite of all the efforts of 
a society for the " Revival of Hinduism," and the opening of 
a rival Hindu school close to our own. 

Two dark shadows of bereavement swept across our Indian 
Mission field during the year 1887. The name of Mrs. Weit- 
brecht was known all over England, and, with her, to be 
known was to be loved. Her heart's affections and her life's 
work were for India. The Master's call came for her to rest 
with Him; and Miss Bowles, after only eighteen months' 
devoted service at the Alexandra School, was also taken home 
to God. Amongst the North India stations the most striking 
events to record, perhaps, were the commencement of the 
Weitbrecht Memorial House for our workers at Bardwan ; a 
visit from the members of the Winter Mission, resulting in 
much blessing, at Krishnagar ; and Dr. Fanny Butler's trans- 
ference from Medical Mission work at Bhagulpur to begin 
similar labours among the women of Kashmir. In the Punjab, 
Miss L. E. Cooper, unselfishly resigning the village work to 
which she first gave herself, assumed the care of the Alexandra 
School ; Miss Sharp was instituting special instruction for the 
Blind; Miss Bose was visiting the Leper settlement near 
Taran Taran ; and Miss Hewlett was sighing for more helpers 
in the grandly growing work of the Hospital at Amritsar. 
Miss Dixie had opened her Dispensary at Batala. The Punjab 
Village Mission was still lengthening its cords ; and at Pesha- 
war, our two missionaries, now reinforced with another medi- 
cally trained lady, Miss Werthmuller, had obtained entrance 
into the very highest Zenanas. Meanwhile Miss Margaret 
Smith had been making most energetic and successful attempts 
to reach the women of the Hazara, visiting Haripur and villages 
around. Of Abbottabad, her headquarters, she remarked that 
it was " as pardah a place as could be found in India ; no- 
where, it seems to me, such a cruel, prison-like system as here. 
Surrounded by beautiful scenery and air, numbers of women 



24S APPENDIX 

are crowded together in tiny spaces, and not allowed even to 
put their heads outside the door." It was this year that Miss 
Compton entered upon her work at Haiderabad. 

In Madras, in addition to her increasing school work, Miss 
E. L. Oxley was holding a Sunday Class, attended by 130 
beggar-women and children ; at Masulipatam and Ellore, caste 
and prejudice were breaking down in a very marked manner 
through the prayerful tact of our workers. Miss A. M. Smith, 
taking Miss E. Lillingston with her, had gone to reinforce 
Bangalore, now becoming an important station. The opening 
of a Muhammadan Girls' School in the Ootacamund Bazar was 
regarded by Miss Wallinger and Miss Ling as a signal answer 
to prayer. The Winter Mission was a source of stirring up 
and blessing to the large staff of native Christian workers in 
Tinnevelly. With unwearied diligence the work at Trevan- 
drum ancL Trichur was being carried on, and a new grant 
was made for a school to be established at Alleppey, at the 
instance of the Rev. W. J. Richards, C.M.S. 

The following year, 1888, was signalised by the first of a 
series of Annual Conferences of the Bengal Missionaries of 
the C.E.Z.M.S., held in Calcutta; by the occupation of Taran 
Taran and Sukkur as new centres ; by the acceptance of calls 
to open a Normal School for Female Teachers at Amritsar, 
and a Boarding School for Village Girls in the Krishnagar 
district. The far-reaching nature of the work in Calcutta was 
well illustrated by the varying character of two schools under- 
taken during the year ; one, formerly conducted by the 
American Unitarian Mission in Dhurrumtollah, for chiefly 
high-caste girls ; the other, a school for Sweepers' children, 
begun in a small mud-hut. The Andiil School, of chequered 
history, had now 117 pupils on the rolls, as reported by Miss 
Rainsford Hannay. It was at this time that God graciously 
gave our missionaries entrance into the palace of the late 
ex-King of Oude, one of the many tokens for good which 



THE STORY OF C.E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 249 

Miss C. Harding, in a deeply-interesling report, was able to 
record. Two widows from the Chapra Training Class were 
now engaged at Bardwan, in connection with the village school 
at Kanjanagar. A Bible Searching Almanack, in Bengali, 
which Miss Dawe had now published for two consecutive 
years, was proving a blessing far beyond the limits of the 
district. The bungalow occupied by our two devoted workers 
at Mirat — a city of more than 80,000 inhabitants — was speci- 
ally interesting, as being the scene of the outbreak of the 
Mutiny thirty years before. During the year under review the 
first Muhammadan Girls' School in that place was opened — 
an important step, since half the population are Moslems. In 
one-half, also, of the Zenanas visited, no secular instruction 
was desired ; but Miss Stroelin was occupied entirely with the 
Word of God and singing. Two new enterprises begun at 
Peshawar showed, on the part of our missionaries, " a holy 
ingenuity." One was a weekly visit to the graveyards, to 
speak to the Muhammadan women, who, in large numbers, 
resort to the tombs of saints or relatives every Thursday. 
Another was the Hujra, or Women's Guest House, on the 
Mission premises, which was visited in nine months by 150 
guests, and where a Bible-woman read and prayed with the 
women night and morning. 

In the South, Miss Oxley told of eighty new Zenana pupils, 
and her sister of a school for rich Moslem families, well 
attended. At Ellore a school, commenced with twenty-two 
Brahman children, taught by a Brahman widow, was increasing 
daily, promising to become the principal girls' school in the 
town. Six schools, now established, were almost entirely sup- 
ported by Australian money. The Maharaja and his Dewan 
(prime minister) were continuing their aid to, and interest in, 
Miss Blandford's work at Trevandrum ; and the new house 
for Bible-women, erected in her compound as a mark of the 
confidence of the Committee in a missionary who had 



250 APPENDIX 

completed twenty-five years of service, was opened in the 
autumn. 

The Rev. Gilbert Karney, then C.E.Z. Clerical Secretary, 
visited the majority of our stations and staff this year, and 
filled the hearts of all friends of the Society with encourage- 
ment by cheering reports of what he had witnessed. 

In a full and able review of the Missions of the C.M.S. and 
C.E.Z. M.S. in the Punjab and Sind, written in 1889, the 
veteran missionary, Rev. R. Clark, bore testimony to the 
11 wonders " which, in a very short time, God had wrought by 
means of the two Societies. " Establishing themselves," he 
says, " in three well-chosen positions in the cities of Amritsar 
and Peshawar, and in many villages where no European pro- 
ection is available, our lady missionaries have manifested a 
heroism and devotion, and faith and love and self-denial, 
which are not often witnessed." 

At the Normal School this year (1889) one of the pupils 
came out " second in all Calcutta " at the Government 
examination — " only beaten by a boy," as she laughingly 
exclaimed — and went at once to the medical work at Sind. 
Nine of the native girls from the Training Class passed out 
to take work in schools — the largest number ever dismissed 
at one time. Our Bengali school roll reached nearly 1,000. 
One bright episode of the year's work in Calcutta among the 
Moslems was " a happy little visit " paid by the Misses Mul- 
vany to a Muhammadan country laird's house, where they had 
"grand opportunities of speaking to the whole of his large 
clan," whose cry, "Come over and help us," was very urgent, 
and who were willing to meet our missionaries with money 
and influence. A small but very encouraging beginning in 
the way of a Medical Mission in the Krishnagar district was 
made; the native workers, twenty-one in number, this year 
joined the Scripture Union, and entered with hearty interest 
into the daily Bible reading which Miss Collisson instituted 



THE STORY OF C.E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 251 

for them. Although in the Nuddea Village Mission, uneasi- 
ness at the growing influence of Christianity caused difficulties 
in the way of access to the Zenanas ; though the story of the 
Widows' Training Class was not altogether bright this year ; 
and from the Bengali schools at Bhagulpur some children 
were withdrawn, and a few Zenanas closed, through fear of 
the result of Christian teaching, yet the prospects of the work 
widened. Miss Wauton, returning from furlough and taking 
a glance over the Amritsar field, remarked : " I see female 
education — secular, non-Christian, and, I may say, anti-Chris- 
tian too — increasing on every side. This narrows the sphere 
of Mission education within the city walls, and calls for an 
advance outside of them. The villages around us are as dark 
as night." At St. Catherine's Hospital, the Refuge opened 
for outcast women and girls had afforded shelter to forty 
inmates. From the Punjab Mission, Miss Clay wrote of 199 
houses being visited in forty-five villages around Saurian and 
its new out-stations, Thoba and Goga. Miss Reuther had 
commenced medical work at Narowal, where, in a small Hos- 
pital just erected, both physical relief and Bible teaching were 
being given to the village women who came for treatment. 
Another Hospital, with twelve beds, was also built and opened 
at Taran Taran. Our workers at Peshawar, owing to the 
bitter opposition of the Moslems and Hindus, underwent a 
severe test of faith and courage at this time. Determined 
attempts to do away with both schools and Zendna visiting 
gathered strength as the year wore away, and our ladies were 
" met with insults at every turn." Our sisters in Kashmir 
were bowed down under the weight of a heavy, unexpected 
sorrow in the death of our devoted medical missionary, Dr. 
Fanny Butler, at a time when the prospects of the Mission 
were unusually bright. Without dwelling on the steady growth 
of work in the other stations, we may mention, among the 
encouragements of the year, a three days' gathering of all the 



252 APPENDIX 

C.M.S. and C.E.Z.M.S. missionaries in Sind for united prayer 
and praise. Cheering testimony was borne to the effect of the 
teaching in the lives of some who, through the evil custom of 
child-marriage, had early ceased to attend school. 

In South India, the Madras schools were increasing in in- 
terest. Kummamett, a new station near Masulipatam, was 
occupied by Miss Turnbull, in succession to Miss Penny, 
obliged to resign on account of ill-health. The Telugu 
Zenanas of Ellore were opening to Miss Digby and Miss 
Alexander. Miss Symonds, from Australia, joined the Mission 
in order to labour there among the daughters of Islam. Work 
among the Todas began this year. Mrs. Finnimore, wife of 
Rev. A. K. Finnimore, C.M.S., continued to superintend our 
work in North Tinnevelly, and pleaded very earnestly at this 
time with Christian women in England for personal service 
in the Mission field. At Trevandrum Miss Blandford, now 
aided by her niece, Miss Collins, was still eagerly waiting 
for open confession of Christ among her pupils. She drew 
our attention to the monstrous system, sanctioned by religion 
and defended by the parents, of allying Nair girls to Brah- 
mans for the sake of gain — a system involving evils far worse 
than even the miseries of widowhood. 

Rapidly scanning the work of the year 1890, we glance 
only at principal events. H.R.H. the Duchess of Connaught 
graciously consented to give her name as patroness of the 
Society. An Australian auxiliary was formed, and undertook 
to be responsible for the Zenana ladies and about thirty native 
workers, hitherto supported by special funds. The John 
Bishop Memorial Hospital was opened at Srinagar. Mrs. 
Satthianadhan having been called to her rest, the work she so 
devotedly carried on was taken up by her daughters, Mrs. 
Hensman and Mrs. Clarke. Three new stations in Bengal 
were occupied : Howrah, as an outpost of the Bengali Mission 
in Calcutta, Nyehatti and Ranighat standing in the same rela- 



THE STORY OF C.E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 253 

tion, respectively, to Barrackpore andj Krishnagar. Month by 
month, almost week by week, tidings reached us of one and 
another publicly confessing Christ's Name in baptism. The 
Converts' Home at Barrackpore was now quite full. At 
Calcutta, one openly avowed her faith who had first been 
drawn to Christ twenty years before at Benares. The first- 
fruits of medical work at Krishnagar had been gathered in ; and 
after twenty-nine years of patient sowing in Trevandrum, Miss 
Blandford at last had the joy of seeing one and another come 
forward for baptism. 

The pressure of financial difficulties, which was a trial of 
faith throughout 1891, not only gave fresh proof of the faithful- 
ness of our God, but showed the spirit of our workers abroad. 
Their answer to the inquiry most reluctantly sent to each 
station in India, " How can saving be effected with least injury 
to the work ? " was practically this : " Not by dismissing one 
Bible-woman — not by closing one school; we will draw less 
ourselves." It is almost needless to add that a week of prayer 
on behalf of the funds was soon succeeded by a week of praise. 
It was in 1891 that the long-talked-of C.M.S. Boarding School 
for Christian Girls at Krishnagar was opened, and, under Miss 
A. Sampson's care, began at once to make encouraging pro- 
gress. The conveyance of the site for the new Hospital 
at Peshawar was completed; but just at this time came 
grievous tidings of the damage done by an overflow of the 
river to the newly-erected John Bishop Memorial Hospital at 
Srinagar. A generous gift to the Society by an unknown donor 
of a valuable house at Abbottabad, was recognised as a call 
from God to resume work in the Hazara district. 

In 1892 our total force of European workers in Home con- 
nection in India had risen to 130. Twenty new missionaries 
had gone from England, one of whom, an honorary worker, 
Dr. Charlotte Wheeler, was a fully qualified lady-doctor. The 
work at Jalandar, hitherto maintained almost entirely at the 



254 APPENDIX 

expense of Miss Tylor, who was now obliged to resign her 
post, was taken over by the American missionaries. In 
Kashmir, owing to the impossibility of finding a site for re- 
erecting the Memorial Hospital, medical work was, for the 
present, confined to a Dispensary in the city, and the support 
of a nurse to work under Dr. Neve in the female ward of the 
C. M.S. Hospital. A house was taken at Baranagore as a centre 
for our missionaries itinerating in the suburbs of Calcutta. A 
small Converts' Home, added to the buildings of our Mission 
at Krishnagar, bore witness to God's blessing on the testi- 
mony of His servants there. In response to urgent and 
repeated appeals on behalf of Mavelikara in Travancore, and 
Dera Ghazi Khan, a frontier station of the Punjab, a worker 
was appointed to each of these places. The hearts of our 
missionaries in many of the stations were gladdened this year 
by the baptisms of converts. Twenty-four men, twenty women, 
and twenty-four children were received at one time into the 
visible Church of Christ in a Tinnevelly village — an instance 
of God's blessing on the teaching of one Bible-woman. This 
year Miss Ling, in addition to her Hindustani work, passed 
an examination in Toda, reduced to writing, and began to trans- 
late, portions of God's Word into this hitherto unwritten 
language. Miss Dawe had been accompanied on her itinerat- 
ing tours in Nuddea by Miss Monro, who gave valuable aid j 
for Ranighat, which as a Mission station had to be given up 
because a suitable house could not be found, had been chosen 
by Mr. Monro, late Chief Commissioner of Police in London, 
as a centre from which he and his family would work independ- 
ently as missionaries. A carefully prepared list of no fewer than 
thirty former pupils of the Alexandra School, who were now 
doing service in India as medical missionaries, hospital assis- 
tants, and teachers in Zenanas and Mission schools, bore 
witness to God's blessing upon the faithful labours of those in 
charge of this important institution. Miss Edgley was now its 



THE STORY OF C.E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 255 

valued Principal, her labours being lovingly and efficiently 
shared by Miss Lucy Cooper. The unasked testimony of a 
native gentleman to the influence of our work at Karachi may 
be quoted here. Referring to the ' Holi,' that most horrid of 
all heathen festivals, he said, "The quietest part of the city was 
that in which your school is, and where you visit ; the women 
and girls there took little or no part in the old way of keeping 
this feast." Of troubles in Kashmir and Trichur in 1892, we 
have already spoken in Behind the Pardah. 

Heavy shadows of bereavement fell upon the C.E.Z.M.S. 
workers in 1893. The Punjab mourned the loss of Miss 
Tucker (A.L.O.E.), while it praised God and will ever be the 
richer for the example and influence of her eighteen years of 
faithful labour and ready sympathy at Batala. North India 
was not allowed to welcome back Miss Pinniger to her loved 
work at Bhagulpur, and Miss Wallinger, who for eight years 
had freely given personal service and substance to the work 
among the Tamil-speaking women and the Todas of the 
Nilgiris and the Wynaad, was suddenly called home to God. 
Cholera had bereaved us also of Miss Clara Ward, who at 
the end of 1892 came from Australia to join our Mission at 
Ellore. Causes for thankfulness, on the other hand, were the 
opening of a Training Home for Assistant Missionaries at 
Baranagore ; the laying of the foundation stone of a Gasha 
Hospital for Muhammadan women by the Bishop of Madras ; 
while that of the Duchess of Connaught Hospital was laid by 
the Commissioner of Peshawar. The reports of our mission- 
aries this year breathed a spirit of cheerful and courageous 
faith. The chief cause of discouragement then, in 1893, was 
the same as it is now in 1897— the physical impossibility of 
overtaking with a small band of labourers the unevangelised 
villages and of entering the many open doors. The chief event 
of the year in Nuddea was the opening of a much-needed 
Dispensary at Bollobhpur. At Amritsar, altogether about 400 



2 5 6 APPENDIX 

classes for Bible instruction were held during the year, and 
Miss Hewlett noticed that in writing out a list of those to be 
confirmed and giving their histories in brief, the delightful fact 
had to be recorded in four instances out of twelve, "the 
spiritual daughter of so-and-so," another convert. 

It is impossible to specify all the movement and progress in 
our Indian Mission field during 1894 ; yet, the conviction was 
borne home upon the hearts of all interested in it that, as yet, 
only the fringe of the work had been touched. After nineteen 
years of devoted labour Miss Clay was obliged, through failing 
health, to resign the superintendence of the Punjab Village 
Mission. Miss Barthorp — a representative of the Keswick 
Convention — went to occupy the new centre at Khiitrain, 
where Miss Clay had erected a house and Mission buildings. 
In Calcutta our missionaries endeavoured to take advantage 
of some openings for work among Jewesses for the first time. 
A combined " school and rest house" was completed and taken 
into possession at Gurha, a village adjacent to Jabalpur, and 
weekly Bible classes with crowded attendances were being held 
in its verandah by Emma Page, an assistant whom the British 
and Foreign Bible Society were partially providing for us. A 
more spacious house, much needed for the workers at Mirat, was 
provided through the self-denial and generosity of " a young 
lady who dedicated her savings to the building fund." 
Thirteen women at Fathgarh, where Miss Brannan and Miss 
Key were labouring, expressed a desire for confirmation, and 
eleven went to Batala for the laying on of hands. At Jandiala 
the C.M.S. Henry Francis Wright Memorial Hospital was 
opened, and whilst the Dispensary and the Barwise Memorial 
Ward of Peshawar were being completed, a small room at 
Haiderabad was set apart for the glory of God and for the 
reception of patients from a distance ; for, during this winter, 
the energies of our medical workers were taxed to the utmost 
owing to a severe outbreak of sickness in that city. The Sarah 



THE STORY OF C.E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 257 

Tucker Institution, growing in importance every year, now had 
a network of thirty-seven schools in more distant parts of the 
district, where its trained teachers were in charge ; and these 
were being visited and supervised by our ladies from head- 
quarters at regular intervals. 

The year 1895 proved a very memorable one in the history 
of the C.E.Z.M.S. For the first time it received the honour 
of the martyr's crown, when, on August 1st, at Hwa-sang, five 
of our brave missionary sisters in the Fuh-Kien Province, 
China, were put to death by the " Vegetarians." 

The story of that never-to-be-forgotten time is fully told in 
Behind the Great Wall. 

This trial of faith was not alone in the record of the year. 
Miss May Davies-Colley, after only a few months of missionary 
sojourn at Mirat, was suddenly called Home ; Miss Mary 
Turner, also one of two sisters on the field, fell asleep after a 
brief illness at the isolated centre of Sachiepuram, and, a few 
months later, the wife of the Rev. E. S. Carr, for three years 
one of our missionaries in Bangalore, " was not, for God took 
her." 

Of great importance in its bearing on the Society's work 
was the adoption of resolutions adjusting the relations between 
the Church Missionary Society and our own Society. 
Briefly stated, the following agreement was made : That the 
C.E.Z.M.S. retain its independence as a distinct organisation, 
and that while, on its part, it will give frank recognition and 
open sympathy to the women's work of the C.M.S. in Africa, 
Palestine, Persia, Japan, China, and Ceylon, and to the 
development of women's work at home in behalf of the 
Society as a whole, the C.M.S. will, on its part, continue to 
regard the C.E.Z.M.S. as the chief agency for women's work 
in the C.M.S. fields in India, and will render it definite and 
vigorous help in a strong and earnest effort to enlist and send 
forth a large number of additional missionaries, both by 

s 



258 APPENDIX 

publicly advocating the needs of India and the claims of 
C.E.Z.M.S., and by encouraging to the utmost, offers of 
service and contributions for India in connection with 
CE.Z.M.S. 

In the foreign field were many signs of progress. Reports 
of Village Itineration in various parts of North India and 
the Punjab, spoke of eager listeners. Interesting accounts of 
baptisms reached us from several stations, notably that of a 
Muhammadan Begam, whose story is told in Ch. xii., The 
Daughters of Islam. In Taran Taran, the coming-out of a 
young woman was made the occasion by the Arya Samaj for 
a fierce outbreak of hostility ; while, on the other hand, at 
Peshdwar, opposition was dying down, and the substantially 
built hospitals here and at Bangalore were solemnly dedicated 
and placed under the charge of fully qualified lady-doctors. 
At Batala, the great event of the year was the opening of the 
" Star " Dispensary. Mankar, in the Bardwan district, be- 
came a new Village Centre. A Medical Mission was happily 
started at Quetta, under Dr. Charlotte Wheeler, and another 
important step was taken in securing a house in the city for a 
small hospital, which a few months later was opened ; the 
need of a Matron being supplied by the daughter of the Rev. 
Imam Shah, the native pastor of Peshawar, who volunteered 
her help. Pioneer work amongst women and children was in 
progress also at the following widely scattered points : 
Ultadunga, Dhah-Keti, Belghoria, Shitie, Ram Krisnapur, 
Sibpur, Salkiah, Akra, Kankuli, Mona, Rayah, Gaggar Bhana, 
Tatta, Doddalarapur, and Olesha. 

At the beginning of 1897, when taking a review of the whole 
field — India, China, and Ceylon — in 1896, we were able to 
say that our staff now consisted of 203 missionaries in Home 
connection, and that in the previous autumn twenty-seven 
new workers — a larger contingent than ever before — had 
sailed for the foreign field. A special cause for thanks- 



THE STORY OF C E.Z.M.S. WORK IN INDIA 259 

giving was the fact that these reinforcements included four 
fully qualified lady doctors. Miss Von Himpe was appointed 
to Ratnapur, Nuddea ; Miss Vines succeeded Mrs. Guilford at 
Taran Taran ; Miss Adams was prepared to open a Hospital at 
Dera Ismail Khan; and Miss Hoist joined Miss A. G. Lillingston 
at the Gasha Hospital at Bangalore. More than 6,300 houses 
were open to Zenana visitation ; more than 9,000 children 
were in attendance at 211 Schools; 983 in-patients and 
177,000 out-patients were being treated at our Hospitals and 
Dispensaries in the course of a single year. The whole medical 
staff on the field might be said to number fifty-two ; since, in 
addition to seven fully qualified doctors, the Society has, either 
in home or local connection, twenty-five recognised medical 
workers and twenty qualified as nurses and dispensers for 
important but less responsible work. 1 

At Baranagore, where the number of schools has been raised 
to ten by the opening of a new one at Ereda at the request 
of the inhabitants, a Converts' Industrial Home, under Miss 
A. Ghosh's care, has sprung into existence. Four poor widows 
are trying to support themselves by needlework, string-making, 
and metal work. 

At Majitha, near Amritsar, a new centre of village work is 
opened, and Mavelikara, a station reluctantly given up for a 
time through the serious illness of the lady in charge, is now 
reoccupied. In Behind the Pardah we have spoken of the 
severe visitations of famine in the Central and N.W. Pro- 
vinces and of the plague in Sind, which have made the winter 
of 1896 and spring of 1897 sadly memorable. In the neigh- 
bourhood of Jabalpur, our workers were brought into daily con- 
tact with cases of extreme destitution. Special gifts (amounting 
to more than ^664) were forwarded through C. E.Z.M.S., 
week by week, to India, to be placed at the disposal of those 

1 Two other fully qualified lady-doctors, Miss F. Cooper and Miss M. 
Sharp, sail for India this year (1897). 



2 6o APPENDIX 

who were ministering to the starving and the orphans, some of 
whom, previously, were tasting food once in three days only. 
Early in 1897, a telegram from Narowal told with startling 
suddenness that our beloved and faithful missionary, Miss 
Catchpool, had succumbed to an attack of small-pox. To her 
the oldest Christian in the place bore this touching testimony, 
" Our mother has been taken away." At the Sarah Tucker 
College — now affiliated to the Madras University — a chapel, 
capable of seating 400, to be used for daily prayers and 
frequent meetings, has been erected, the children themselves 
helping to raise the funds by self-denial offerings. Of twenty 
adults baptised during the last twelve months in Trichur and 
Kunnankulam, thirteen have been led to Christ through the 
instrumentality of our ladies. 

Such is a brief and necessarily imperfect survey of seventeen 
years' C.E.Z.M.S. work for God in India. Much more might 
be recorded did space allow. But if this Story of our Stations 
and Staff suffice to show, " not that there is no harvest to reap, 
but rather that the harvest is spoiling for want of reapers," it 
will not have been told in vain. Far and wide we are making 
known our resolve as a Society, that, God helping us, we will 
send out " sixty more missionaries to our Heathen sisters as a 
thank-offering to God for countless blessings granted during 
the sixty years' reign of our beloved Queen Empress." Mean- 
while, by the calls which reach us with every Indian mail, the 
Lord of the Harvest field is speaking in clearest tones to you 
— to me — 

" Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go 

THOU AFTER THEM." 



INDEX 



[This Index is arranged especially for the use of C.E.Z.M.S. workers 
and others in preparing missionary addresses. All books, unless otherwist 
stated, may be obtained *roni C.E.Z.M.S., 9, Salisbury Square, E.C\ 



Abbottabad, 1 07. 

Ajnala, 193. 

Amritsar, 1 26- 1 28. Alexandra 
School, 151. Rev. R.Clark, 152. 
Miss L. E.Cooper, 152. St. Cathe- 
rine's Hospital, 179-181. Village 



Schools, Miss Dewar, 



16. 



Widows' Industrial Class, 168. 

Miss Wauton, 173. Miss M. E. 

Jackson, 169. 
Andul {see Appendix). 
Anecdotes : — 

"A Bible-teaching BeganV'219. 

" A Bible Woman's Arguments," 

131. 

11 A Blind Bible Woman," 127. 
"A Child Martyr," 141. 
"Atchari's Death," 143. 
" A Widow's Death bed," 163. 
" Baptism of a Pandit," 74. 
"Bible Woman and her Little 

Son," 120. 
" Charniti's Hymn," 142. 
" Destroying a Girl's Eyesight," 

52. 
" Exorcising an Evil Spirit," 193. 
" Giri's Trial of Faith," 123. 
"Jiuni the Nurse," 189. 
"Little Bessie the Leper," 185. 
11 Little Thai and Sundram," 143. 
" Mai Lachmi," 190. 
" Mai Susan," 128. 
" Mulo, the Panjabi Teacher," 
137. 



Anecdotes {continued) : — 

"Nestarini," 124. 

"Old Dubi," 123. 

" On Night Duly," 181. 

" Pardah Lady in Court," 42. 

" Remarkable Conversion," 107. 

" Rochi," 201. 

"Sikh Soldier's Wife," 183. 

" Story of Qadir Bi-," 229. 

" Story of Sirdar Begam," 215. 

"The Cotton Madam," 172. 

" The Little Missionary," 221. 

"Two Crippled Boys," 189. 
Asrapur (Baharwal-Atari), 188. 

Dispensary, Miss K. Bose, 188. 

B 

Baharwal-Atari {see Asrapur). 

Bangalore, 206. Gasha Hospital, 
Miss A. Lillingston, 207. Mos- 
lem Women, Miss Thom, 229. 
Miss A. M. Smith, 231. 

Baranagore, 1 50. Training Home, 
Miss Ash win, 150. 

Bardwan, 84. Miss E. F. Mulvany, 
86. Miss C. Harding, 86. 

Barrackpore, Convert's Home, Miss 
Good, 122. Village School, 138. 

Batala, 190. Star Dispensary, 191. 

Bengal, 84. Itinerating, Misses 
Dawe, 87-93 ; Haitz, 95; Owles, 
90 ; Rainsford-Hannay, 94. 

Bezwada {see Appendix). 

Behind the Pardah, 40. See 
also High- Caste Hindu Woman, 



262 



INDEX 



by the Pandita Ramabai ; Inside 
the Zenana, Mrs. Hasell ; What 
is a Zenana ? Col. G. H. Bolland ; 
Behind the Scenes, C. L. Blyth ; 
Woman in India, Miss Billington 
(Chapman & Hall, 14^.) ; also 
India's Women, vol. iii. 336 ; 
vol. iv. 182, 264, 274; vol. x. 

33. 2 74- 

Bhagalpur, 240 {see Appendix). 

Bible Women, On, Miss G. A. 
Gollock, 124. Dr. A. T. Pier- 
son, 118. 

Brahmans, 25. 

Brahmo Samaj, 146. 



Calcutta, Bible Women, Miss Hunt, 
9. Moslems, Misses S. Mulvany, 
14 ; Bardsley, 220. Normal 
School, 145. Mrs. Hasell, 3. 
Miss Hunt, 148. Miss Billing- 
ton, 146. 

Caste, 26, 27. 

Ceylon, 234. 

Children, Hindu, 55-59. 
Moslem, 227. 

Chintadrepetah, 128. 

Clarkabad, 145. 

Coonoor, 108. 

Cottayam (see Appendix). 

Customs, 17-27. Hindu, 17, 45, 
88 ; Moslem, 22. 



Daughters of Islam, The, 
211. See also Early Work 
amongst Muhammadan Women 
in the Mysore, M.A.T. 

Dera Ghazi Khan (see Appendix). 

Dera Ismail Khan, 198. Miss 
Johnson's Dispensary, 197. 

Dress of Women, 46-49. Hindu, 
47 ; Moslem, 48, 225. 

Dummagudem, 208. Miss Gra- 
ham's Dispensary, 209. 



Fllore, Miss Symonds, 223. 



Famine, 96-98. 

Fathgarh (see Appendix). 

First Experiences, 70. See 

also India's Women, vol. viii. 

88; vol. ix. 328; vol. xiii. 101, 

151- 

Funeral rites: Hindu, 34-36; Mos- 
lem, 37. 

G 

Gampola (Ceylon), 234. 

Glance at the Land, A, 12. 
See also Every-day Life in South 
India (D. W. U. Library); 
Geography of Bengal, W. H. 
Arden Wood, F.CS. (any book- 
seller) ; More Stories from 
Mother's Note - Booh, Lucy I. 
Tonge ; Not by Might, A. D. ; 
The Broken Jars, the late Mrs. 
Weitbrecht; The Cross in the 
land of the Trident, Harlan P. 
Beach (R. T. Society); Hindu 
at Home, Padfield (any book- 
seller). 

Girlhood, Indian, 55. See 
also Snow- White, Miss Carey ; 
Little Gomi, B.B.C ; Last Chap- 
ter in the Story of Little Gomi, 
B.B.C; My Baby, Miss Daw- 
son. 

Gods and Goddesses, 2S-32. 

H 

Haiderabad, 199. Hindu Hospital, 

Miss Piggott, 200. 
Hazara, 106. Itinerating, Misses 

Phillips, 107. M. Smith, 107. 

Condon, 107, 222. 
Housekeeping, Missionary, j6. 
Howrah (see Appendix). 

I 

Indian Women their own 
Evangelists, 118. See also 
India's Women, vols. i. 298 ; 
iii. 84 ; iv. 292 ; v. 44, 226, 276, 
294 ; viii. 234, 246 ; ix. 79, 326, 
341 ; x. 15; xii. 564; xiii. 178, 
267. 



INDEX 



263 



India's Girls for Christ, 
134. See also A School Girts 
Story , E. G. Sandys ; Devdki- 
rubei, a Tamil School Girl ; 
Fatma and her Schoolfellows. 
Panjdbi School Girls ; A.D. ; 
Pevi's Story, Miss Carey ; Shu- 
shilla, E. G. Sandys ; Tale of a 
Bee, L. C. M. Hooper. 



Jabalpur, 97. School, Mrs. Mu- 
kerji, 141. Bible Women, 
Miss Branch, 125. Famine, Miss 
Branch, 96-98. 

Jandiala, 190. Dispensary, 190. 



Hensman, 156. Miss Oxley, 

157. Miss Billington, 156. 
Majitha, 142. 
Mankar, 86. 
Manners, 18. Hindu, 1 8-20 ; 

Moslem, 22, 226. 
Marriage, Early, 60. Fandita 

Ramabai, 60. 
Masulipatam, Misses Brandon (see 

Appendix). 
Mavelikara (see Appendix). 
Meals, 22. 
Mirat, 144, 240. 
Muhammadanism, 211-213. Misses 

Hewlett, 223 ; Ling, 213 ; 

Phillips, 223. Bigotry, 214, 228. 
Mysore (see Appendix). 



K 

Kandy (Ceylon), 234. 

Kapashdanga, 164. Widow's Class, 
Miss Adams, 165. Rev. G. H. 
Parsons, 165. 

Karachi, 200. Itinerating, Miss 
Carey, 200. 

Kashmir, 201. Description of, 
202. Dr. Fanny Butler, 205. 
Miss Hull, 206. Dispensary, 
Misses Rainsford, 205 ; Newman, 
Newnham, B. Foy, 206. 

Khu train, 1 00. 

Krishnagar, Bible Women, Miss 
Collisson, 123. Idolatry,n5. Miss 
Phaiibus, 196. Village Schools, 
Miss Collisson, 139. Miss A. 
Sampson, 140 Widows, 164. 

Kummamett, 209. 



Languages of India, 16. 

Learning the Language, Miss 

Potter, 71. Dr. Mary Root, 79. 

Miss Tuting, 72. 

M 

Madras, 127. Bible Women, Mrs. 
Hensman, 128. Moslems, de- 
scription of, Miss Oxley, 225. 
Schools, Mrs, Clarke, Mrs. 



N 

Naihati, 77. 

Narowal Dispensary, 99. 

North Tinnevelly, Itinerating, 

Misses Turner, 115. 
Nuddea, 86. Itinerating, Miss 

Dawe, 87, 89, 93. 



Ootacamund, 222. Itinerating, 

Miss Ling, 109. 
Our Suffering Sisters, 176, 193. 

See also Blind ! Miss A. Sharp ; 

Daughters of the King, S. S. 

Hewlett (D. \V. U. Library) ; On 

the Afghan Frontier, Dr. C. 

Wheeler ; The Little Afghan. 

Dr. F. Butler ; Yet not I, the 

Story of Aunt Fan, U. S. O. ; 

also India's Women, vols. i. 

85 ; iii. 114 ; iv. 174, 190, 252; 

vii. 32, 86; viii. 140, 210, 216, 

256 ; ix. 274 ; x. 258, 322 ; xii. 

362, 380, 3S2, 508 ; xtii. 80, 

321. 



Palamcottah (see Tinnevelly), Bible 
Women, 129. Blind School, 156. 
Deaf and Dumb Girls, Miss 
Swainson, 155. Industrial Class, 
155- 



264 



INDEX 



Pardah System, Mrs. Bishop, 51. 
Miss Hewlett, 50. Miss Sorabji, 
42. Dr. Cust, 43. Rev. H. E. 
Perkins, 42. Gasha Girls, 157. 

Peshawar, 197. Duchess of Con- 
naught Hospital, Dr. Mitcheson, 
198. 

Punjab, 98. Itinerating, Misses 
Clay, 99 ; Dewar, 102 ; Jansen, 
102-106 ; Tuting, 101. Village 
Schools, Miss Tuting, 134. Mos- 
lems, Misses Ilelherington, 212; 
Tuting, 222. 

Q 

Quetta, Hospital, Dr. C. Wheeler, 
19S. 



Races, and Peoples, 24. 
Ratnapur, description of dispensary, 

185. 
Religions, 32. Dr. Thoburn, 33. 



Scenery, 13-16. 
Seasons, 14. 

Sukkur, Miss Brook, 200. 
Superstitions : Hindu, 27 ; Mos- 
lem, 230. 



Tally Gange, 220. 

Taran Taran, St. Mary's Hospital, 

Dr. Vines, 191. 
Tatta, Miss Carey, 108. 



Tinnevelly, 129. Bible Women, 
129. Itinerating, 129. "Sarah 
Tucker " College, 153— 156. 

Todas, 108. Description, 109-111. 
Itinerating, Miss I. Wal linger, 
112. Translation of Bible by 
Miss Ling, in, 112. 

Transmigration, 33. 

Travelling, Modes of, 75. 

Trevandrum, Fort School, Miss 
Blandford, 157. Hospital, Miss 
Beaumont, 209. 

Trichur, Bible Women, 130. Dis- 
pensary, Misses Coleman, 209, 
210. 



Villages and their Visitors, 
81. See also A Visit to Andul, 
E. G. Sandys ; Daybreak in the 
Majha Country, C. Hanbury ; 
The Todas, C. Ling ; 'Iweuty 
Years Ago, Miss Hull. 

Voyage out, 71. 

W 

Weddings : Hindu, 62 ; Moslem, 

64. 
Widows, 159-163. E. G. Sandys, 

167. E. M. Sandys, 174. Pan- 

dita Ramabai, 167. Kayastha 

Widow, 161. 
Women's Occupations : Hindu, 

46 ; Moslem, 226. 



Zenanas : Hindu, 41, 43 ; Moslem, 
226. 



Butter & Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, Frorne, and London. 





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